Noxious Sector Projects
312 S. Washington St.
Seattle WA 98104

Tetsushi Higashino

Observation Diary of a Hydroponic Nose Hair

I looked into the mirror this morning and realized something wasn't quite right - it seemed that there was one particular nose hair that had outgrown the rest. It was an unusually long nose hair - the kind that you can't really just trim; the kind to which you have to take a tweezers and pluck right out.

The question is what you do with it once you pull it out? In many ways the gesture is violent - a forceful removal of part of your own bodily system - like pinching a pimple or pulling a skin tag. Does that nose hair that you forcibly removed from its comfortable place in your body, deserve a surrogate place of its own? Perhaps a truly surrogate space - a hydroponic space in which it can be cultivated for the potential that was its birthright before being relocated from its natural environment. And, perhaps it needs to be continually nurtured - fostered - so as to assist it in the recapitulation of its nose hair potential.

Such is the project of Tetsushi Higashino.

According to the Japanese calendar, August 7 2009 was the day of the nose flower. On this day the artist plucked a nose hair - and since that day has been growing it in a dish, watering it daily, giving it sunlight and waiting for it to flower. At times, the artist has even used more extreme tactics - giving the hair growth formula, energy drinks, alcohol, plant nutrients and whatever else might potentially make a difference to the growth patterns of the transplanted hair.

It's a noxious proposition - how would you make a nose hair grow?

It's also a noxious solution, for the nose hair itself does not seem to be growing at all. Instead, what is striking about the project is not the nose hair trapped at a height of 1.1 cm but the dish in which the nose hair sits, which has grown from a square of white gauze to a vibrant ecosystem of molds and decays. In some ways the diary of a hydroponic nose hair is also a diary of the dish itself - given the transplant excuse for vicarious animation - as if, in some way, this flowering of the dish was the point of the whole experiment.