Germaphobia is always something I have found interesting. I have spent a lot of time worrying about cleanliness, but not entirely knowing the exact consequences of a lack of cleanliness. I have also spent a lot of time trying to get over this fear, which is part of why I have chosen to explore it artistically.
This fear inspired me to look at bacteria in a different way. I started growing samples of E. coli with assistance from the Biology Department and photographing them. I was interested in E. coli because not only can it make one very sick (depending on the strain), it is also very prevalent on the human body. I then started placing images of the samples on top of images of a human model to represent human interaction with bacteria.
These images chronicle not only how I interact with bacteria, but the range of interactions I observe others have with bacteria. I see everything from fear and disgust to ambivalence and acceptance. It is interesting to see how we choose to interact with these microbes, because even though we cannot see them with the naked eye under most circumstances, they exist with us. This makes germaphobia futile in a way, because no matter how much we try we can never eradicate all bacteria. I want the viewer to think about the interaction of the human forms with the E. coli forms. I also want the viewer to think about the E. coli, as well as the millions of other bacteria that reside in their body, and how they exist as one.