The Underglow

Public Projection


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)  

 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


Still from The Underglow

nstallation View

Installation View