Ken Rinaldo

Borderless Bacteria / Colonialist Cash, 2021
Bacteria, fungi, viruses, international currency, agar growth medium, and petri dishes

Up to 3,000 types of bacteria can thrive on dollar bills from just one Manhattan bank. Most of them are linked to human skin, mouth, and sexual organs. Like other non-human agents, bacteria evade the geopolitical boundaries we impose on the planet and invisibly define our lives in radical ways. Harnessing the highly charged signification of banknotes as markers of national identity, Rinaldo’s work points at the untamable bio-flux of invisible organisms that travel the world unmonitored. Encompassing past histories of colonial contamination as well as very current concerns for widespread contagion, Borderless Bacteria / Colonialist Cash is equally fascinating as it is unsettling.

Courtesy of the artist.