Anicka Yi’s upcoming exhibition, called “Anicka Yi, Life Is Cheap,” features pieces inspired by sweaty armpits, among other works. She teamed up with scientists to make scents based on the chemical compounds of human sweat; they waft alongside sculptures made from live bacteria.
Yi collects the sweat and bacteria samples herself. Biologists cultivate the bacteria by feeding it nutrients, and maintaining optimal growth temperatures. Once her “living sculptures” are grown, Yi displays them in petri dish-inspired cases made from plexiglass and resin. As for the artist’s “Eau de Armpit,” a forensic scientist uses chromatography to break each sweat sample down into chemical compounds. Then, Yi collaborates with a Paris-based perfumer to turn the compounds into scents.
Annie Tittiger in Wired.