Broughton Archipelago IV:
The Infants is comprised of seven images of pink salmon smolts from the Broughton Archipelago, and one image of a human infant, each enlarged to the approximate size of an adult human. Juvenile salmon are called smolts when they are ready to migrate seaward. Each sheet of paper measures 44” x 80” (112 x 203 cm), and the total length of the installation is 35½’ (1082 cm). The depicted sea-lice infested smolts were collected and researched by marine biologists studying the impacts of fish farming in the Broughton Archipelago region and later scanned by Zeigler; the human infant figured is Zeigler’s now-adult son.
Shifting these ‘samples’ out of the realm of scientific data, these images seek to provide a different point of entry to the consideration of the consequences of current fish farming practices – one that is more affective or phenomenological. While in the pairing of human and salmon infants this work does speak to the outmoded, hierarchical, often romanticized, as well as objectified and commodified view of non-humans, it remains cognizant of sensationalist tactics often uncritically used in environmentalist discourse. Closer consideration of the installation might also highlight such strategies, and the cultural paradigms in which they function.