Public Studio & Darlene Montgomery
The One and the Many
The One and the Many is a floor work using toner from spent printer cartridges. Toner is composed of polymer, a molecule whose etymology is “many parts,” and carbon, the basis of all life on Earth. Carbon both creates and destroys. Toner powder takes over a thousand years to break down, and most is taken to landfill. There is the potential for toner to be recycled in a closed-loop system; this, however, would cut the long tail of capital. The seeming insurmountability of capitalism and its partner, climate change, is embodied in toner, as a product and producer of capitalism deeply embedded in global networks of intersubjective communication.