"The Dressing Media" Mixed Media Installation 11 ft x 10 ft. 2021-2022

"The Dressing Media" Mixed Media Installation 11 ft x 10 ft. 2021-2022

We are in dire need of innovation in food sustainability. For years, thousands of researchers and scientists have been telling us that we need to cut down on our meat consumption by a recommended 90% to preserve the planet for future generations. But, the meat industry is continuing to expand at a rapid rate due to increased demand, especially in developing countries. There are three main reasons why the meat industry needs to change for future generations: pollutants and contribution to climate change, global health, and global malnutrition/ hunger. While there are still many unknowns, cultured meat has been proposed as a viable way to change what people are given to consume.

The Dressing is a visual and interactive commentary on our own meat consumption. While present in the scene, there is an uncanny sense of nostalgia, as if it is a childhood memory. A smoky leather chair, an aromantic TV dinner and a television playing a sinisterly euphoric ad. Meanwhile, ominous meaty structures loom around you. These structures are mostly hidden to bring awareness to how shielded the meat industry and slaughterhouses in particular are.

Artist Statement

Oftentimes, as humans, we disregard the fact living things are all around us. We default categorize the spectrum of nature as “the other '' and then take advantage of it by manipulating organisms for personal, economic and commercial growth. As a visual artist and biologist, I have become fixated on the social, biological, and personal implications of how animals can be defined.

My current work explores three lines of inquiry: the first is how time exists on a chronological timeline. I chose to focus on the idea of timelines of life from beginning to end rather than momentary interactions. The second exploration is how an animal is defined through social standards. Some humans believe that other humans are animals, while other humans believe that we are equal to all other beings in nature. And thirdly, how an animal is defined through biological standards. At what point is a cell or cluster of cells considered to be a living entity, and when is it too late to terminate a pregnancy?

Extensive research in physiology has enabled me to approach these questions from a scientific approach. On the other hand, my art practices and curiosity in everyday conversations has given me insight into social approaches to the same questions. These themes are manifested through sculpture, digitally manipulated images and distorted and dreamlike imagery within video animations. 


Shannon Derthick is an artist, scientist and conversationalist.

She is pursuing degrees in Integrative Physiology and Fine Arts at the University of Colorado  Boulder, Boulder, Colorado.

Focusing on Digital and Multimedia art practices, Shannon creates video, animation, digital art and sculpture to present research-based commentary on biological issues. With her immersive physiology background, Shannon is infatuated with understanding anything with an internal system and mechanism for growth. This has led to current work that critiques animal meat alternatives from a world health and environmental standpoint. She has shown in the Boulder area,  she aspires to pursue a career in scientific illustration and bioart.

In her free time, Shannon enjoys training for triathlons, open water endurance swim races and spending time with her snake, Sunny.

Artist Website
IG handle: @shade.art

Thesis Artwork

Notes: The Future is Fake (3:48), 2022 video still

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