upcoming and past residencies throughout 2022
Mycotecture Sound Dome
In 2021 I received a residency invitation from the Larry Springs Museum of Common Sense Physics to take place Fall '22. Aspects of this residency involve me holding workshops in bio-sonification, Electro-magnetic frequencies, sculpting and building with mycelium as well as forest sound-walks and performances. Working with the local community in Fort Bragg and around Mendocino County, California a Myco-Sound Dome will be built/grown... (click image for further info)
Coalesce Center for Biological Art
During my time at Coalesce (SUNY Buffalo) I gathered forest biome DNA, explored capturing and bottling forest scents, extracting my gut biome, cultivating Cordyceps, and Armillaria mycelium and more. My primary reason for visiting Coalesce was towards exploring the Mycelium Network through the use of various microscopes. Unfortunately, there were many roadblocks and scheduling issues that disabled my experience at Coalesce.
SEM + Confocal + Atomic Force Microscopy
Gathering Confocal 3D image output for VR environment, SEM output for textural data and hidden fungal microcosm, Atomic Force to record fungal frequency information. My residency at Coalesce was initially meant for Fall 2021, due to COVID restrictions and outbreaks it was deferred to Spring '22.
Coalesce residency review:
I share the following below for any future residents considering Coalesce. It was a frustrating affair, I reached out to past residence to find the majority (women) experienced similar.
Overall, I found this residency a bit misogynist, though they would most likely argue otherwise, of course. They really play into the entire youth and "art star" status of residents. I would discover that the director was more responsive to the cis-male residents that were there at the same time, inviting them to his house for dinners, going out for drinks. This all taking place prior to my meeting said residency director- which happened by chance one day when they showed up at the Coalesce lab office (week 3 of my being there). He also responded to their emails, and only responded to mine (always days later, if at all) when I would cc a bunch of people related to the lab. His excuse being that he is not good with emails- isn't this his job? Doesn't he receive NEA funding towards this gig?
The program director asked me if I held a degree (due in part to their "diversity" statement, his words) why was this necessary? He had my cv, no?
The program director never reached out to me once towards meeting up during my time there, which was a surprise. I am very experienced with Self-directed residencies, however even with self-direction the Residency Director makes it a point to meet up with each AiR to discuss expectations, give guidance towards materials, etc. Later he would tell me, in a rather heated manner, that he had pushed all of my residency interest onto his lab tech. Great.
The lab technician, while certainly friendly, told me that they have extreme ADHD (the lab tech, not director) equaling, not able to stick to schedule, very scattered. My mentioning this is not towards blaming anyone, it is simply that out of pocket this residency cost me close to $10k CAD in housing, vehicle rental, gasoline, and for the first month of my stay- nothing happened at Coalesce. Everything lab related, I was already highly familiar with, conducting out of my Toronto studio and home.
The entire premise of this AiR (funded by the Canada Arts) was to gain access to various microscopes. The lab tech of the SEM was ridiculously unfriendly, unapproachable, even referring to artists as Kooks (the Coalesce lab tech was there when this was said, would later say that they didn't remember).
The SEM images are all blurry, but this was allegedly my fault due to specimen not being dry, later the SEM tech would go on to say how gold plating is used for 3 dimensional specimen- then why did he use carbon only? Also, the majority of the specimen I brought in were dry- had been drying out since 2018!! Also, they were desiccated. Spoilers: I have worked in a SEM lab prior to this experience (backscatter gold plating) and yeah, this was a strange environment. I was told that this tech was also very unfriendly towards a prior Coalesce res.
Suggestion: Coalesce needs to locate an artist friendly SEM lab, I mean, this time is also being paid for so... yeah.
I never gained access to the Atomic Force Microscopy lab, though I was told that this would happen. I asked almost every week- the claim was that the AFM lab wasn't responding.
The Confocal lab: I finally gained access during my last month/week at Coalesce and then, I was required to log-into the lab's scheduling calendar, which I could not- due to not having the correct University ID. So, the Coalesce lab tech would have to share the calendar data with me, which often did not happen in a timely manner (if at all) even when texting, and emailing for assistance towards booking time.
Other than that- the Confocal lab tech and facility is amazing, incredibly helpful and friendly. I just wish that my work had actually mattered to the people at Coalesce. My hope is to somehow work with what I was able to capture at the Confocal lab, and book time with a lab in Ottawa, which, all of the money I spent to participate at Coalesce- could have gone towards all along!
Suggestion to future residents: Either look elsewhere for similar lab access or go in knowing that you are not likely to accomplish your proposal goals unless you relentlessly push and push, be the loudest, and even then you will have to be fully autonomous.