Potato starch

Potato starch

Biomaterials

"There is no work of art, there is the artist with his incomplete manifestation and the spectator who completes the situation in action." Victor Grippo, 1988.

In Argentina as in the rest of the countries of Latin America, the potato is one of the main foods along with wheat and corn. It is estimated that it is about 10,000 years old on earth and its origin is established in the Andean highlands. It is one of the first foods we eat after breast milk. It is also the food of the poor.

In the Aymará and Quechua oral tradition, they speak of "domestication of the potato", as well as an animal is domesticated. These people carried out a long community process and lwere after the Incas the ones that turned the first small tubers without nutritional value into the food we know today.

In this territory, in which so many centuries have passed, hunger has still not been solved for many communities and we add urgencies: the misuse of rivers, the poisoning of oceans, waters and soil sterilisation, among others. It is estimated that 70% of natural forests were lost in the last century in Argentina.
The plastic thrown into the oceans has already formed an island larger than the Mexican territory. Only 30% of corals are alive in the world and it is estimated that they will disappear in just 30 more years.

As Laura writes these pointers, she is connecting once more with human capacities, the one that made American communities that produce food from very small wild tubers. She return to the potato and its ability to mix with other natural ingredients and produce 100% compostable meshes, nets and cloths, which could replace plastic in the very near future.

Laura tries, with her research on bioplastics, to pay tribute also, to the conscience from the understanding of the work of Argentine artist Victor Grippo, to take his legacy and continue integrating multiple experiences of dialogue, trial and error, from the workshop-laboratory to community, of poetics and utopia to the production of meaning.

Victor Grippo, worked for many years from the energy of the potato, its ability to produce voltage, but also its symbolic value. Art, he said, only becomes important so far as it manages to produce consciousness.

Additional information

These forms are strength tests of the material from the potato starch. The ingredients are mixed with the water and heated over very low heat for more than 10 minutes so that the original polymeric chains are broken, they are moulded and after a few days, with different drying times, they come off the surface where they dried. So that forms take their own shapes with the natural warping of the material.

Ingredient list

Potato starch, glycerol, vinegar, calcium propionate, organic pigments, water.

Photo credits

Laura Messing