Human Hair. A Toxi-Cartographic Proposal for Bangkok
What kind of stories (if any) may be told through the substances contained in the bodies that inhabit, navigate, breathe and process the multiple types and contemporary environmental conditions that are stored in it?
This material, which grows and is effortlessly discarded, in turn, registers the toxicity contained in the human body as a consequence of the environment, and through its interception and use, we are allowed to contribute a new material and a new reading of the environment that surrounds us.
These two complementary elements were the ones taken into account for the materialisation of Foll(i)cle – an event located in an ephemeral pavilion, whose main material for its realisation was discarded human hair, and which, in turn, provided a meeting place for social and ecological discourse; for the debate on urban environment. Through an interaction protocol, it invited users to access a centralised device containing the equipment and information required to deliver hair samples anonymously and voluntarily for the analysis of heavy metals; a mirror, scissors, an airtight bag with a single alphanumeric code that links participants to their samples. Finally, through a questionnaire, participants were asked about their life and work environments, which would be subsequently examined and mapped, to facilitate a reading of the city through the toxicity of its inhabitants, accessible through an interactive website that empowered citizens who live, breathe and drink in one of the most polluted cities in the world.
Foll(i)cle works like a lighthouse; a stage for collective participation and debate, testing the willingness of users to contribute and interact in a collective mapping of toxicity, acting at the intersection among architecture, environment and social activism.