Plastex | Black matter
The black matter is a chemical substance of cellulose-based materials created during the experimental textile waste recycling and material research project at Sliperiet, Umeå University. The material is made of cellulose-based bioplastic mixed together with charcoal which the designer harvested in a local surrounding and made a powder out of. The material mixture was applied on a natural hemp fabric, shaped into the object and left to dry, while the fabric still transforms and creates solid objects from soft textile. In this research, Austėja speculated the future possibility of using only natural materials to create contemporary design objects, instead of using mixed or synthetic ones, which are harmful to our environment. In this experimental practice, she joined the technological and artistic parts together into the well-balanced synergy between different disciplines and various physical substances to show the successful collaboration between science and art. Austėja had experimented with different technological properties of using cellulose- based bioplastic and various local harvested organic ingredients through hands-on and intuitive knowledge methods. During her experimental process, the artist let the materials mix together freely and followed the natural fabric transformations into contemporary art and functional design objects. All objects were made only of cellulose-based materials, wholly organic, lightweight but stable and waterproof. The objects made of black matter material are long-lasting and sustainable.
The name of this project came from a dark matter meaning, which is a hypothetical form of matter and means all components of the universe that are not visible but still obey, likewise black matter project where the viewer can not see separate ingredients, but only observe the whole object as a same material.
Text submitted by the maker
Cellulose-based bioplastic, organic charcoal powder, natural hemp fabric.
FabLab Artist Residency and Scholarship Program at Sliperiet, Research and Innovation Center at Umeå Art Campus, Umeå, Sweden