New Inflatable Works

Tag: microscopic

The making of Rotifers

I proposed the rotifer installation for the Amsterdam Light festival for their Illuminade walking route with the theme of Biomimicry.

img_2108Model of Rotifers project.

rotifers222Inspirational rotifer illustration.

img_0020Scale drawing on Acadamy building.

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img_0704Testing lights in the studio.

synchaeta-hyperborea-smirnov-1932Inspirational illustration

img_1271Working in the studio in Amsterdam to attach the forms together and add lights.

Creatures circle my sewing machine.

The Story of the Amsterdam Rotifers.

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The rotifer is a tiny animal that lives in small bodies of water.  It has the bizarre and amazing ability to survive attacks from preditory fungus by drying up and floating away on the wind.  When it does this it can also shatter it’s own DNA and pick up the DNA from the world around it. A trio of rotifers lays on the ground, collapsed.  Suddenly their lights flash wildly and then they fall dark.  The viewer experiences vulnerability and collapse with the creature.  But from their darkness emerges a new series of rotifers.

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These rotifers form a chain, flying up the building.  As they fly they morph and change with their surroundings, excaping into the night.

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Janine Benyus, founder of the Biomimicry Institute defines biomimicry as the “emulation of life’s genius”  The rotifer literally incorporates the genes of their surroundings into their DNA sequence.

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There is a clear link between this work and real rotifers”, reflects Amsterdam Light Festival juror Lydia Fraaije on the work and its relation to this year’s theme: biomimicry. “They move just like real rotifers and by doing so, they manifest their cycle. Cycles also present  in nature. It’s good that we’re made aware of the fact that what we do is not linear, but rather part of a larger system, which sometimes seems to be based on arbitrariness.”

That rotifers spread their DNA is amazing. They also gather DNA from their surroundings. To me, the fact that they use DNA as an information carrier a beautiful analogy! Especially in a contemporary society like ours, where access to information is more ubiquitous than ever. Also, the idea that the piece focuses on a microscopic level and makes us experience even more nature than what we already see is noteworthy.” said Lydia.

img_3757View of rotifers from across the canal.

rotiferdrawingThe very first rotifer drawing I made.

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Rotifers

in the studio before moving to Amsterdam.

My collapsed rotifer photo shoot.

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All work created for the Amsterdam Light Festival 2016 with the theme of Biomimicry.

The Story of the Rotifer

The Rotifer

Rotifers are fascinating  and whimsical creatures, evolutionary mysteries that survive through endurance and adaptations. 1015c131e8026134304acbd67ab9794e

When the rotifer is attacked by predatory fungus it dries up and is carried away in the wind to a new safe environment.  While it is dehydrated the fungus cannot survive.

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Rotifer overcome by fungus

When the rotifer dries up it shatters it’s DNA allowing it to pick up DNA from it’s surroundings.

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My drawing of flying rotifers

 

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Ernst Haeckel’s rotifers

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My rotifer.

These amazing creatures are the inspiration for my new body of inflatable work.  One installation will be permanently displayed in the Children’s Museum, and the other will be displayed in a festival in Europe.

Institut für Alles Mögliche (Or the institute for anything… or fungus, stomach linings, and abandoned places… a work in progress in Berlin)

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IMG_4694 tree fungus

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Erupture: Microscopic inspiration

This Powdery Mildew inspired the whole series.

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This Paracitic fungus releases it’s spores by bursting open.

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My powdery mildew

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Apple Scab

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Both powdery mildew and apple scabs are cleistothecia which are closed, globose ascocarps.

Their ascospores are released only by their rupture or decay.

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My Apple scabs

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Syncephalastrum


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Molds

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My interpretations

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Staghorn Fern by Ernst Haeckel

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My Staghorn Fern

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My Erupture

Erupture: My microscopic Life-cycle.

An inflatable installation for the Arvada Center’s Unbound.  

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The surreal landscape pulses with struggle:  my erupture is bursting, spilling, vomiting, and disintegrating.  Debris is scattered across the landscape: spilled from split and bursting forms, but the process and the purpose is unclear. 

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The forms are inspired by microscopic images of nature.  A variety of enlarged parasitic fungus and other plant life are present.  These fungus must harm other plants to survive, bursting open to release their spores.  This seemingly violent action is a necessary part of their life-cycle.

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The arrangement recalls dioramas from natural history museums, with large groupings of forms stretching along the edges of the gallery.

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Erupture: On the inside

The environment reveals an unexpected intimacy, exposing it’s interior through transparent portals.  This delicate space feels calmer, more comforting, yet disorienting.  This space reveals the artists’ hand, the delicate seams and air channels in view.  There is a shared vulnerability between the artist, the viewer and the landscape.

From the outside looking in.

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From the inside.

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All images from the installation Erupture: My microscopic Life-cycle, created for the Arvada Center’s show Unbound.