Mosquito Man is a series of cyanotypes created in the Amazon rainforest using mosquito suits which were developed to protect human skin from insects and the spread of infectious diseases. Mosquito Man was born out of the indexical printing process to depict the presence of an absent body, which is the central figure in these works. The see-through suit is filled with leaves, seeds, and palm tree bark found in the rainforest as well as power cords, printer ink cartridges, smartphone cases and other debris of contemporary human existence. The cyanotype process creates an indexical record of the mosquito suit on paper.
Historically the biggest barrier to colonization of the Amazon rainforest has been the hostility of the natural environment to man. Protective mesh suiting became prevalent in the late nineteenth century when it was discovered that mosquitoes were the predominant agent in spreading malaria. Netting became in this moment a necessary barrier between humans and nature which ultimately enabled the colonization and monetization of Amazonia.
As a last step in the process I apply a final layer of fluorescent day glow inks to colorize the monochrome cyanotypes, ‘infecting’ them with color in a way which is analogous to the enhancement of images through filters in smartphone cameras.
© Images courtesy of the artist