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Myocene  (2019-)

Mycocene is a room-sized installation consisting of reanimated electronic waste sculptures and a live cell culture in a shared dimly lit space. The work uses a juxtaposition of bio-art and electronic/kinetic sculpture to critique our relationship to technology, one that largely ignores the ecological impact technology has on the Earth. Using a mixture of reclaimed electronic waste and the fungal-esque organism slime mold, Mycocene acts as a hybrid between the living and the technological world. The installation contains five separate electronic waste sculptures all in communication with the slime mold which occupies the centre of the room, encased in a cell container and bathed in a green spotlight that emanates to the edges of the space. The e-waste sculptures positioned around the mold are dimly lit, relying on the green glow to outline their components. Each of them is actuated by an electronic pulse modelled off the live growth and movement of the mold, creating a living atmosphere permeated by the sound of motors spinning, cameras zooming, hard drives spinning. The atmosphere is disharmonious, yet organic. The soundscape solely relies on the physically audible (non-curated) actuations of the sculptures. As they jolt to life, the biological pulses of the slime mold can be heard in the rhythms of the sound echoing through the space. Moving around the dim channels between sculptures, decaying security cameras start to scan, and the frame of a human body emerges on a CRT screen buried under wires. Another pulse triggers a melody punctuated by noise and static, as a magnetic tape crawls along the walls. Surrounded by electronic waste, the singular slime mold culture orchestrates an evolving performance, using the sculptures as its means of communicating with the world.



somme (CA) is the interdisciplinary arts collective formed between artists Sam Bourgault, Owen Coolidge, Matthew Halpenny, Matthew Salaciak, and Emma Forgues. The collective’s work explores topics such as the systemic relations between nature and technology, surveillance networks, and the invisibility of digital labour through experimental audio-visual performances and installations. somme formed in 2018 as a method of combining the members’ respective backgrounds in the sciences (biology & engineering) and the visual arts (sculpture, AV work, & performance art). somme has exhibited at the ELEKTRA XX – International Digital Art Festival (2019) and the International Marketplace for Digital Art (MIAN) (2019) with their bio-art installation Mycocene. The work was also presented at the Centre Pompidou as part of the Behavioural Matter Conference (March 2019), ISEA – Sentience (2020), and selected for the Oboro New Media Creation Grant Caisse Desjardins Residency (June 2019). somme is currently working under the support of The Conseil des Arts de Montréal’s Collective Project Grant (2020).


Photo credits: Emma Forgues