White Death, 2015. 26 X 48” Soda can tops, teaspoons with glass sugar cubes, insulin needles, glass crystals and encaustic on board.
White Death presents the intersection between corporate interest and public health and speaks to the highly addictive nature and negative health outcomes of sugar consumption.
Research shows that sugar stimulates dopamine and serotonin production in the brain much like highly addictive heroine and cocaine. The Agra industrial complex that grows and processes food and drink, incorporates many forms of sugar into products to ensure consumption. They have created a Meta language on labels to ensure confusion.
Health researchers point to studies that show that too much sugar (both in the form of natural sucrose and high-fructose corn syrup) not only makes us fat, it also wreaks havoc on our liver, mucks up our metabolism, impairs brain function, and may leave us susceptible to heart disease, diabetes, even cancer.
The company's who use sugar as an addictive ingredient are drawn into the star field in a child's handwriting as many foods are targeted at children and low-income people. Aluminum soda beverage cans crowd the star field and are encrusted with powdered glass to represent the 9 teaspoons found in every soda can.
Each of 55 teaspoons displayed in the stripes are different in material and/or design. The spoons represent individual consumers and communicate that the issue knows no socio-economic boundaries. The sugar cube, or teaspoon, is a common unit of measure for sugar.
Obesity and high rates of Type-2 diabetes are conditions partly attributed to excessive sugar consumption. 228 insulin needles make up alternating stripes are superimposed on words used in the hidden language of sugar. The needles are melted and warped and like the entire flag encrusted in waxy sugar.