lets start with the soft outer tissue insulation regulation sensation vitamin D three petals in shades of reddish rose and ripe unpleasant and persistent with an impressionable palate a vicious porosity a body made of bodies hard-skinned tall no hue two folds four wrinkles no scars old hag bad stomach tired machine mouth open wide toward the velvety plane a a a a single celled sensitive matter she moves in a way that can only be described as a small but steady wave she is two pure strains plus pollen and stigma a car with optimum fuel efficiency red when she is green more round than she is square she fills your mouth each time you think about fruit they call her fatigue syndrome noxious muck and the information age sister genus a short-range wireless technology a shape-shifting spectral mask a spring knot a poison mint a hybrid succulent a sext s s ssssssss she — feeling data — fragrance domestic host dream walker telepathic tuner sun choked saboteur a variable geometry a dead leaf in your salad a dilemma of the senses how to collect a specimen from a scream how to become an infectious agent how to enter a stand alone system how to fix a broken screen how to spot a fake psychic so you don’t get ripped off the cuticle the cortex the medulla for touch sense or protection for dirt or sweat see distribution cc : she she the system she the syntax she the symptom she the security if she is the enemy we already know the system we could be military jets lovers private conversations facing mirrors social networks cartesian doubts psychic links entangled ecosystems my lower intestines your economic plans a result of our collective addiction the mental equivalent of white noise our tongues swelling like a vicious bloom for forty years we have been wading at the bottom of this ocean waiting for someone to hear all of this complaining perennial depression damp basement sorceress leaf single berry algae choked color contact died of thirst without knowing the power and potency we place a drop on our tongues and sink to our knees feeling as though we were being sucked right into the earth a mouthful of dirt dog lace and again into blue blue brain fog like data smog impractical irrelevant moody ripe
SISTER GENUS is an multi-sensory installation inspired by the lifecycle and distribution of Chrysopogon zizanioides, commonly known as vetiver. Recently proven to cleanse fuel-contaminated soil, vetiver roots hold a strain of bacteria responsible for the production of an aroma often used in commercial perfume. Billing explores the plant as a metonym for growth in toxic times, examining the relationship between ecological destruction and collaborative survival. Working in reference to the historically gendered social roles of the healer and the witch, Billing poses questions about their dystopic future equivalent. Somewhere between a grow room and an abandoned laboratory, science fictive vignettes allude to collective fears of technological acceleration and genetic modification. A homemade distillation system diffuses scented vapor into the gallery, emphasizing the viewer's own bodily permeability. In SISTER GENUS, hypothetical hybrids, hacked electronics, and invented conduit circuits create a fictional ecology with biophysical implications.
Colleen Billing (b. 1991 | Baltimore, MD) lives and works in New York. She received her BFA from Virginia Commonwealth University and her MFA from Mason Gross School of the Arts, Rutgers University. She has participated in residencies at the Skowhegan School of Painting & Sculpture and Vermont Studio Center.