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Phase Changes

. 2 min read
Phase Changes

by Fyodor Shiryaev

Phase Changes is an ongoing project begun during quarantine. It’s cyclical and repetitive in its methodology; each work is built up over weeks by the same process. I start every cycle by dispensing a small amount of liquid onto the glass plate of a scanner bed. When the liquid evaporates, I scan the entire plate and repeat the process for ten to twenty days at a time. I’m limited by the liquids around my home—what I ingest, expel, or otherwise interact with.

I recently read a science fiction series in which our entire solar system is flattened. The author describes how even the smallest animal in three dimensions becomes a vast pool of decomposed organs and cells in two. This dimensional shift doesn’t categorically banish all life forms from our solar system—merely the ones suited for three dimensions. Maybe, given enough time, two-dimensional atoms would rearrange themselves into clusters large enough to achieve biological status.

Phase Changes is a biological compression of my time spent alone, from the intimate point of view of molecules that interact with my body. The chemical interactions between those molecules in turn take on a life of their own during their existence on the scanner bed as they merge, evaporate, and crystalize.

April 11, Layer 3, Wet (cow’s milk, liquid soap, olive oil, red wine, my saliva, white vinegar)
April 13, Layer 6, Wet (cow’s milk, liquid soap, olive oil, red wine, my saliva, white vinegar)
April 22, Layer 8, Dry (my urine, cow's milk)
Detail of April 22, Layer 8, Dry
May 1, Layer 18, Dry (beet juice and bodily substances from a clump of hair that was clogging my tub for a month)
May 26, Layer 8, Dry (two tears from my partner, pond water)
Detail of May 26, Layer 8, Dry

Fyodor Shiryaev is a photographer based in Queens. Get to know him better: @fy_d_r

Thumbnail image:  Detail of “April 13, Layer 6, Wet.”