Today we’d like to introduce you to Sasha Fishman.
Sasha, we’d love to hear your story and how you got to where you are today both personally and as an artist.
Last summer I was assisting Jen Liu in New York and was thinking a lot about the future of meat. Jen pointed me towards the world of lab-grown meat (cellular agriculture) and accessible science spaces. This has been a huge turning point for me. At the time I was also beginning to experiment with biomaterials after seeing a show by Sterling Wells and Haenna Yoo at AWHRHWAR Gallery in Highland Park where they showed a variety of bioplastic casts.
My interest in materials, especially translucent ones, has motivated me to look deeper into the ways materials are produced, where they come from and where they go after we use them. Since attending biotech conferences at the MIT Media Lab (New Harvest and Bio Summit), I have been experimenting with scobies, mycelium, and bioplastics and have begun to work with people in the sciences. My idea of the artist’s role has expanded immensely since I began thinking about the similarities artists and scientists share and the potential collaborations that can prosper between these specialties.
We’d love to hear more about your art.
I’m a sculptor, researcher and bio-artist. My research varies wildly from attending conferences to collecting hair scraps to touring recycling plants. Through material research, I have been exploring concepts and processes in synthetic biology, material waste and production, and the future of agriculture. Coming from a formal art background I have been investigating scientific processes, incorporating these processes into my work and creating new materials.
Resin has been one of my primary materials for its optical qualities. It possesses everything that I love about synthetic materials – clear, plastic, versatile and light. So much of the materials we dispose of every day could be reused to make incredible building materials. This kind of repurposing is one step in decreasing carbon emissions.
Although I’m working with “natural” matter, I am very attracted to synthetic and toxic materials that will outlive me; materials whose purpose in the world is durability and preservation. There is this sense of longevity and trust contained in the synthetic materials that make up the furniture, roads, and buildings around us. They are built to withstand things from the natural elements but ultimately bits of break off along with the medications and plastics that are washing into the ocean, into the seafood we eat and back into us. It’s from here that I start to consider how synthetic materials interact with and slowly destroy our bodies. Can we create materials from entirely new biopolymers so that they don’t harm our biological system?
How can artists connect with other artists?
Reach out for studio visits! Getting to see other artists’ studio is a personal and exciting space. It’s a really great way to engage with artists, talk about their practice and processes. Daniel Buren wrote about the artists’ studio as being the origin point for artworks, “it is in the studio and only in the studio that it is closest to its own reality, a reality from which it will continue to distance itself.”
Do you have any events or exhibitions coming up? Where would one go to see more of your work? How can people support you and your artwork?
I also am working on a project for science-artists that will be launching next year, and collaborating with Spira as an artist in residence, stay tuned for upcoming projects with them on Instagram: @sasha.fishman
If you would like to support me and my practice and own a tangible object you can DM or email me: https://sashafishman.com/Resin-Pets-More.
- Website: https://sashafishman.com
- Instagram: @sasha.fishman
- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/sashfishman/
Matthew Genecov, Jen Rachid, Rob Ferrell, Matthew Cronin