smells like border

exploring: the border of “nothingness” 2021, Montevideo

Where is the border between the water and the land, the port and the sea or the industrial- and the public space?

During the excursions around the port’s bay I noticed a wide range of very contrasting smells. Sometimes it smelled like sweet exotic flowers and dry grass and sometimes it smelled like human feces and rotten fish. To approach the answer to the question above I decided to create a scent of the in-between, the smell of the border.

Similar to sound, the experience of smell is sometimes fluid and subtle and sometimes clear and defined. Much as the border between water and land, a smell changes its physical location to mingle with other smells. It is everywhere and nowhere, all ingredients at once!

I collected probes of water, plants, flowers and algae along the bay to then distill the essential oil by collecting condensed water through a cooking process. With porous post-it papers I then collected the small droplets of oil swimming on the surface of the condensed water and preserved them by stacking them airtight in a bag.