Creating bioplastics is a long and slow process, it is a place of participatory and integrative making outside of our predominant instant gratification/ready-to-consume culture. It's a fluid and transmutative process. You get your hands sticky, slime like solutions can seep between cracks and onto different surfaces of your home or workspace, spreading like a plasmodial body.
Think of the process of heating, cooking and cooling the bioplastics as part of a material ritual. Think of the intentions you are putting into the bioplastic as you combine the ingredients, and transmute them into new forms of existence. Before or while doing the protocols in this cookbook - think, say aloud or write responses to the prompts below for transformation, and create your own. It could be a wish or statement, such as "I want to lose my addiction to plastic products." Or it could be the following:
- Tactics for healing the earth - real or speculative forms of bioremediation (for example: oyster mushrooms and mycoremediation of crude oil)
- Ways to collaborate with other species
- Designs inspired by other species
- New processes (speculative or real) to replace harmful extractive processes (for example: bio-mining)
- Ask Yourself: What materials would you like to see exist in the world that don't exist yet? What materials should no longer exist?
- What needs to be destroyed? What needs to be rebuilt? With what materials and whose hands?
Bioplastics can be cooked back down, heated and remolded, and reshaped - they have transmutative qualities that you can be directly engaged with. They have a constantly changing materiality - once poured and set - they shrink, sometimes warp or crack, and change color and hardness over time. The bioplastics don't always come out right - sometimes they are too thick and start to mold, and you have to start completely over again. Be embedded and fold yourself into the process. You are engaged with a vibrant materiality. Also, all the materials here are compostable! :) Can we imagine materials for our clothing, or for our technologies that biodegrade over time?