About the Artist
Andrea Mikyska graduated from the Supermedia Studio at the University of Art and Design in Prague and during her studies, she completed an internship at the Academy of Fine Arts in Prague and an internship at the Universität Berlin der Künste in Berlin. Her work draws on the immensity of data content on the Internet and her own experience of presence in the online space. The work of Andrea Mikyska often touches on those issues of the popular visual culture associated with their own identity and self-reflection in relation to fashion trends. Her videos and installations are playing with the young generation, the ubiquitous tension of the constant intersections between these "public" and the intimate spaces of individuals.
Rigged Game, video, HD, 07:15 min, 2019
Our global problem with plastic waste came to light in 1997, when the Great Undersea Plastic Stain was discovered, today often drawn on maps like any natural entity. Instead of a blanket ban on single packaging use, which accounts for about a third of all plastic waste, we have turned mainly to recycling.
This has become the main and only morally correct way of dealing with our waste; That happened a trend that gives consuming masses the confidence to buy more and create more waste. The recycling process is also energy-intensive, leading to the production of a minimum amount of reusable material and forms a treacherous by-product in the form of plastic microparticles.
Many clothing brands such as Adidas, G-Star Raw, or Patagonia have launched in recent years a collection of clothes made from plastic waste from the oceans. However, as Chere Di Boscio (Can recycled plastic clothing do more harm than good? - Eluxe Magazine) points out the recycled material releases waste in the form of microfibres during each wash, which then travels back to the seas and oceans. Whatever we recycle, we will stop using it disposable plastics or all plastics in general, the waste we create on the surface or at the bottom is not only unquestionable, it is probably also irreparable.
Due to the fact that today we still carry the DNA of hunters and gatherers, rather than farmers and bankers, the prospect of adaptation of the human body to the surrounding plastics is negligible. It can happen that plastic particles are made flexible do microorganisms adapt to us when we do not?
For centuries, historians and archaeologists have defined periods of human history by the technologies or materials that made the greatest impact on society—like the Stone Age, Bronze Age, or Iron Age. But what age are we in now? For some researchers, according to Atlas Obscura's Cara Giamo, that question can be answered with one word: plastics. Our current era has been referred to as the Plasticene (Christina Reed, Dawn of the Plasticene, New Scientist). Rigged Game video imagines a world where ‘plastic disease’ is so common and an ordinary phenomenon like the flu. The treatment process is similarly simple and routine: set an official appointment with your practitioner, wait in the waiting room and then the patient in the office receives a dose of the enzyme Ideonella sakaiensis 201-F6 (In 2016, Japanese scientists discovered this bacterium that can break down PET plastic, which is primarily known from plastic bottles and clothing fibers.) Again, only the symptoms are resolved, not the nucleus problem. This medical cleansing thus works on the same principle as the indulgences provided by the church - the patient gets rid of his/her visible debt to nature, much like he/she got rid of his/ her eco-sorrow thanks to a specialized therapist. However, it is a lengthy and cyclical process and remorse is over and over mental cleansing regularly creeps back into our minds.
The aim of the video is to think more deeply about our consumption and above all recycling habits. Frequent advice on proper recycling and disposal of plastic material only helps in half and the collateral damage that recycling techniques create is often caused.