Spores in Santa Cruz
Last week, after finishing my Smithsonian fellowship in Washington, I travelled out to California to install my Secret Sounds of Spores installation at the Santa Cruz Museum of Art and History.
If you’re not familiar with the piece, it is a musical installation that uses a mushroom to control music. A green laser shining at the mushroom reveals falling spores, and a camera sees those spores and uses them to send pulses to small electromechanical instruments that play in response.
I built a smaller and slightly improved version of the installation for the show, “Wild Mushrooms & Functional Fungi”, which includes a number of other wonderful mushroom-based pieces. My new version uses cherry wood from the farm in Maryland, which I think looks lovely.
The opening was fantastic – I had tons of brilliant conversations and fascinating feedback. Many thanks to the museum staff for making it all happen. The show will run until the end of March 2016, so be sure to go and have a look if you’re in the area.
Special thanks to Felipe Goncalves for laser cutting the connecting parts to the installation, and to Danny Haeg for hosting me in California. This new version of the installation was made possible thanks to a Creative Scotland artist bursary.