Toxicity's Reach

Curated Group Exhibition & Archive Online
Abandon Normal Devices, 2020-2023

An accessible version of the site can be found here

With: Mary Maggic, Luiza Prado de O. Martins, Sissel Marie Tonn. 

Website design by Rifke Sadleir and DXR Zone.

The essay has been written by Dani Admiss. Proofread by John Merrick.

Digital Production by Tadeo Lopez-Sendon.

Toxicity’s Reach considers the intimate ways in which micro-polluting chemicals are entangled with beings, their environments, contexts and situations today. Through commissioning, public events and research, it’s projects trace how synthetic toxicants intra-act with life and its relations, weaving together different values from pasts towards futures, creating unknown and unexpected life conditions. Tracing these stories, it aims to open up conversations about ethical actions and ways of living in toxic worlds.

That we all inhabit toxic worlds is what Kim Fortun has called a ‘slow disaster’. Many of us are born into toxic contexts and are obscured from the inequitable realities that toxicity often maintains. Built on a network of extractive industries - petrochemical, pharmaceutical, agrobusiness - unspeakably vast amounts of synthetic chemicals, largely unregulated, are created, used and released as waste into our worlds every year. As they move through seas, soils and bodies, toxicants also disrupt forms of life at different scales. 

The curated online exhibition is dedicated to thinking about toxicity’s reach in the Mersey estuary, Liverpool. Three newly commissioned online artworks by artists, Mary Maggic, Luiza Prado de O. Martins and Sissel Marie Tonn, experimented with tracing the multiscalar and multisited entanglements between life and either microplastics, endocrine-disruptors or petrochemicals in this historic, industrial body of water.


The exhibition was accompanied by an essay and a digital repository, recovering and weaving various disparate histories of how contaminants of emerging concern ‘came into being’ in the Mersey and beyond. 

Commissioned and Produced by:

Supported using Public Funding by:

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Sissel Marie Tonn's online multi-channel story Plastic Hypersea (the spill)  (2021). Full credits at here.

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Luiza Prado de O. Martins gif essay The Sea Collapsed Into The Pleasures of Sand (2021).

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Mary Maggic, Interactive 3-D models, Estroworld Now!: The Quarantine Edition (2021).