“Even imperfection itself may have its ideal or perfect state.” - Thomas de Quincey
The pearl, a material prized for perfection, yet that is so rarely perfect, serves as the inspiration for this body of work. At its origin, a pearl is nothing more than an agitation to the shell it grows in. In Manufactured Autonomy, I examine and catalog the physical intricacies such as size, shape, color, texture, and other defining characteristics of pearls and the shells that they grow in. Through repetition of intimately sized photographs the pearls are cataloged and come together to create an archive, resembling an antiquated family photo album. The use of a chemical reaction to rust the metal structure references the coating process of daguerreotypes and tintypes and points toward the impact of time on material. Time stands as a dichotomy as it represents both death and life, as it naturally slowly and steadily destroys steel and also gives life to pearls. No part of life is untouched by times impact. And these minute details in the world are what draw my attention.