Material Evolutions - Notes about the series.

Edges, walls, borders and fences all present varied possibilities. This series explores these demarcations utilizing the "DNA" of well-loved jewelry and clothing to build new interactions.


How did the series come about?

While exploring human cells and the wondrously "low-tech" way that the phospholipid bilayer forms the membrane that is both holding in liquid and keeping liquid out, I was captivated by the permeable and impermeable nature of these elegant demarcations.

To be clear, these are the same human cells that contain important information about our very being. Our DNA is inside there. Important biological functions are occurring in there. These cells are inside our "liquidy" bodies, and make up the entire structure of our physicality.

If you've taken a look at phospholipids, you'll notice that they are essentially little waterproof (fatty) "heads" with two water-loving"tails". The little guys arrange themselves back-to back, with tails facing inward, and they put their little heads together facing outward, creating a two layer (bilayer) "wall".

Here is an example.


Image source:

It's a practical and elegant design. Wow! 

Borders and gateways, can come in many forms: a line in the sand, a wall, a fence, a space, among many other things. 

One thing about borders is the "unknown' on the other side of the barrier.  

What gets through the barrier? Something familiar?

The interactions are not known.

My dear friend, a former paramedic, equated this moment to the anticipatory moment in Michaelangelo's Creation of Adam. The space between the hands is the demarcation. 

Michelangelo - Creation of Adam (cropped).jpg

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About the medium.

Over the years, I had accumulated some costume jewelry (and clothing). I had connected with the shape, the vibe, and the creative DNA of its creator. These adornments were lovingly part of my world until they wore out. 

Now they have a different job. Their DNA is still aesthetically  "ornamental", but now they are "living beings" inhabiting each side of a demarcation. They all have special structures , qualities and capabilities.  What are the rules of permeability here? What kind of interaction can occur?

They are captured in this awesome moment of unknown potential.

At the time of this writing, there are 5 in this series. I am looking to make more and situate them on much larger wood panels.


 Material Evolution 1




Thank you for your kind comments! (just noticed months later). Yes, we humans love hydrophilic.
Stay hydrated!


Mitch Rappaport


We are loving your site, your artistic everything, and the very enjoyable and invigorating explanations you provide.

In all things hydrophilic, sending our love to you and that man you reside with too!

Mitch & Dolly

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