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Apr 5 / Tiziana La Melia

The Distribution of Matter

Excerpt of Q & A with Ada Smailbegovic, who recently published The Dense and the Rare on Triple Canopy.


Tell me what happens when the fibre from a sheep’s coat absorbing the pulverized bodies of cochineals? Protein over protein. Protein into protein. Transubstantiation or?

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(a diminutive form related to Spanish, cerdo and chancho, ultimately from French cochon, meaning “pig”)

A Route of Evanescence

Opunta brushed down yellow spikes – a deer tail duster

tuna blood” dye

forms a joint with anthraquinone structure


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“cochineal extract”, “carmine”, “crimson lake”, “natural red”

with their beak-like mouthparts

With a revolving Wheel –



immobile unless alarmed


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waxy white

for shades of purple, add lime to alum

A Resonance of Emerald

long wax filaments

protein based animal fibers (including silk)

a sculpture beaded then folded


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history of histology

the acidity of the mountant caused significant fading

A Rush of Cochineal –

fixed materials have a similar refractive index

appear very dull and uninteresting

so that a dull grey colour is all that can be seen


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powder quite variable in composition

And every Blossom on the Bush

a complex of aluminium and carminic acid

which makes the insides of the insect look dark purple

cochinilla = “wood louse”


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scale insect

ionic staining powdered and red spread on lips

Adjusts it’s tumbled Head –

cochneal coelom on coelom tissue lacks contrast

delicate manual labour

any excess dye can easily be removed with 1% HCl


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glycoside with a glucose derivative

slightly soluble in water

The Mail from Tunis – probably,

oval-shaped scale insects

females, wingless and about 5 millimetres

males with wings – much smaller in size


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when they were mounted in Canada balsam

van der Waals forces

An easy Morning’s Ride –

laked pigment

a similar color

karmin = lipstick


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