algal blooms

900 x 400 x 250 (h) cm
microalgae, glass, metal, clay, latex, air pump system, LED lights, 4-channel speakers

‘algal blooms’ is based on a hypothetical scenario in which microalgae become the dominant species on Earth by replacing human beings, who become extinct in the near future due to environmental destruction. 

korinsky/seo reconstructs a dark, underground church where a small number of humans that have just barely survived extinction worship the microalgae, the only savior of humanity. This setting is designed to convey the anxiety that people feel in the frustratingly dark underground bunker, as well as the vitality of non-human beings growing and breathing in front of us. 

The sounds echoing through the exhibition room include the sound of the life-supporting machines recorded in an actual ICU, and represent the feelings of fear, death, despair and hope felt by a man at the crossroads of life and death and the people around him/her.

Through this project, korinsky/seo challenges the status conferred to ‘man’ by humanism and searches for a new symbiotic relationship between humans and nature, and humans and non-humans. 

By envisioning a dystopian future that might come after the destruction of the world, algal blooms alerts us to the humanistic values that we have indulged ourselves in.


funded by Asia Culture Center

microalgae consultation: Korea Institute of Ocean Science & Technology (KIOST), Korea Research Institute of Bioscience and Biotechnology (KRIBB)

field recording: korinsky/seo, GODAM
glass sculpture: Hayne Park, FLUX
exhibition printout design: Heeju Kim
videography: Kwanhee Yoon

special thanks to Chonnam National University Hospital for granting permission to record ICU sounds