This Mortal Plastik

This mortal plastic / Jess Irish / USA / 21 min

A personal dive into the world’s most impersonal substance: plastics. Amid the lockdown, a bereaved mother unfolds a surprising journey within and across oceans to understand the contemporary landscape of single-use synthetics. From the noble intentions behind its invention to scales of havoc it has wrought, this experimental documentary brings together art, history, science, and the everyday. Playfully crafted with hand-drawn illustrations and poetic interludes, this evocative “pause between deep time and no time” will change how you think about this ordinary “thing without thingness.”

Jess Irish is an award-winning media artist and filmmaker, working in experimental film, design collaborations, installation and interaction. Her work has been exhibited and screened nationally and internationally, and has receive multiple honors.

Irish is a full-time faculty in Art, Media & Technology at Parsons School of Design in NYC, where she teaches both graduate and undergraduate courses. Irish received her MFA in studio art from the University of California, Irvine (1996) and her second MFA in creative writing from The New School (2016). She lives the Hudson River Valley.

Director Statement

“My creative practice in new media is motivated by a deep curiosity to find new approaches for storytelling. Both as an individual artist and collaborating designer, I seek to find new ways technology can afford a multimodal perspective into non-fiction subjects. I’ve been inspired by Buckminster Fuller’s call to embrace the work of the “comprehensivist” — one who puts things together in new ways.”


Jess Irish