Commissioned By Ambassador Matthew and Mrs. Brooke Barzun, projected in Nobel Park adjacent to the US Ambassador's Residence, Stockholm, Sweden, as the inaugural project of their program, A Different Kind Of Light. The project was curated by Alice Gray Stites for Artwithoutwalls.
In 1555, Swede Olaus Magnus published A Compendious History of the Goths, Swedes, and Vandals and Other Northern Nations, which mentioned numerous luminescent mushrooms such as the “Agarick” and their connection to wood decay; he also described the practical use of mycelia-infested bark (often called “Foxfire” or “Faerie fire”) by Scandinavians during long winter nights. (Glawe, D.A. and W. U. Solerg. 1989. Early accounts of fungal bioluminescence. Mycologia 296-299 found at Emily Isaacs, Cornell Mushroom Blog, Kathie T Hodge, editor) http://blog.mycology.cornell.edu/?p=1154
On my first visit to Stockholm, I learned over a dinner that included Chanterelles, that Sweden was a country of fervid mushroom lovers and that hunting for mushrooms is an often solitary pursuit. Having long been intrigued with the idea that as a fungus, the mushroom does not photosynthesize, I did some reading on the subject. I love that they are born of decay. When I stumbled upon the bioluminescent mushroom varieties, the project began to take shape. The Underglow is a luminous sculpture, a field of glowing mushrooms slowly growing, then glowing and pulsing.The field becomes a kind of primitive screen for a series of animated drawings, animations reminiscent of drawings in Paleolithic caves, of herds of animals running across the field.
Video by Gabriel Wrye/Zoon Politikon