The Art, Biology, and Being of Flatworms
A collaboration with Mol Mir, Steph Nowortarski, and Jason Pollen
Four intergenerational and interdisciplinary artists have plunged into the muck of local Kansas City waterways and emerged with an even greater understanding for the complexity found where, at first glance, there appears to be little to look at.
A Drawn LineDirected and Produced by William Plummer
Sound Recording and Production: Jametatone
Footage: Steph Nowotarski and Mol Mir
Opening Animation: Steph Nowotarski
Dylan Cramm Horn (bass guitar)
2007 Balquier (trumpet)
Brad Highnam (upright bass)
William Plummer (cello)
Worm in a LifetimeProduced by William Plummer Footage by Steph Nowotarski and Mol Mir Featuring Steph Nowotarski, Mol Mir, Jason Pollen, William Plummer
Digital Print (2020)
With their oblong bodies and shovel-shaped heads, it is easy to find planarian flatworms unassuming. However, these worms have a superpower: regeneration. They can heal without visible scars and can clone themselves by ripping off pieces of their own tail. Planarian flatworms are found all over the world. Here in Kansas City, The Stowers Institute of Medical Research studies the species Schmidtea mediterranea to understand the worms’ regenerative abilities.
Planaria Passages features colorful Schmidtea mediterranea intermingling in a blue to red gradation. Although these worms are not naturally found in rainbow colors, a little food coloring in their food is enough to harmlessly change their appearance. For this project, all images were captured with a microscope. These enlarged photos showcase details such as the worm’s two eye-like photoreceptors and the lacy gut spanning their body’s length. Each creature becomes a tile in this collaged mosaic, flowing in busy circles like synchronized swimmers. This project aims to raise awareness of these sprinkle-sized flatworms, printing them larger-than-life and taking them from Swope Park and Stowers Lab to downtown Kansas City.
Along the Transverse Axis
Devices for Personal Orientation: Convergence Plot
Laser etched plexiglass, paint
Symbiotic bacteria and yeast culture
Digital print on foamcore
Screengrab Collections: Sign for the Big Temple
Sewn silk organza and butterfly net
Tian Zi Ge
Devices for Personal Orientation: College ruled and Tian Zi Ge
Embroidery on Silk Organza
Gallery View Lucky Numbers: Made in America
Jaquard Woven Cotton
Spray paint on wall
Devices for Personal Orientation: 7278 mi. / 20 vision
Paint on Kite
Plants know where the sun comes
Vermicompost, cast paper, broccoli microgreens
While the adjacent curves of a hyperbola infinitely bow away without meeting or intersecting, a transverse axis is the anchor between the rift, a bridge spanning two never-touching worlds at their foci.
Along the Transverse Axis, a solo exhibition by William Plummer, offers a look into the complexities of cross-cultural identity, grappling with familial intimacy, geographic distance, and cultural loss. As an individual with Taiwanese and American heritage, Plummer mediates a life between the standards of definition. They look at the link between internal and external landscape through the lens of language, considering the process of making a form of personal wayfinding. In using diagrams that converge English and Mandarin phonetics alongside maps and mazes, the systems in which people order reality are explored in search of open space for cohesion and growth.
All Together, Now
A series of three workshops organized in collaboration with Diana Lerma. The activities of the workshops cumulated in a one-night interactive event.
Photos by Jillian Youngbird