PICA Day 46
oh I am so bad at this blogging caper! Must do it during the day as I get so tired by the evening! Am still a bit flu sick - mostly tired now, it has been so hard to get up before 10. Managed this morning tho and am in my usual spot in the gallery on this glorious Perth spring day.
Cleaned out the Daphnia as they had died again. Might be the algae coating the vessel or maybe I hadnt put enough adults. Shian said they dont do so well if there arent any adults. So cleaned vessel and put new water and 10 adults from the backup on the work bench. Fed & they seem to be doing well a few hours later.
The slime mold has sporulated! My research suggests that it sporulates when exposed to light, but it has been exposed to light for 46 days and just does it now? Curiouser & curiouser.
Had a fascinating talk with Neil, one of the PICA gallery attendants (“GA’s”) this morning. He has a background in art & sustainability and used to race pigeons and was telling me stories about caring and breeding racing pigeons. Humans are fascinating creatures. We then moved onto evolutionism & creationism, religion and climate change. One of the beautiful aspects of this project has been the intimate snapshots of the lives of the humans that enter the space and the stories they are inspired to share with me. Evocative objects indeed!
PICA Day 44
Daphnia died again. Poor little buggas. I think it might be too much algae on the vessel. Will try again with the ‘standby’ stock.
Cleaned out Homo sapiens tea cup. I really like the fungus growing in the tea but it creates a really different reading - of neglect, not care.
Skyped with Elena & Felix - they sang me a great “Aunty Baunty” song. Elena stickytaped some pink feathers from her fairy dress to her chin like a goatee - she looked fabulous. So lovely to hang out with them!
PICA Day 40
hosted an ‘on location’ SymbioticA Friday seminar at the gallery: “Tarsh Bates talks In Vitero” Huge thanks to all who attended and for putting up with my croaky voice. Amazing discussion, comments & questions. Am still digesting. Am trying to figure out how to upload the recording of the discussion.
PICA Day 35: half way
Been sick this week. Exhaustion I think - so tired and nauseous - definitely not pregnant - and am now feeling better after three days in bed so i guess exhaustion. Crazy busy day in the gallery today. The Outskirts festival is on outside so lots of people are taking advantage of another glorious Perth day in the city centre to get some “culture” at PICA. So first chance to sit has been at 3.30.
Susanne, bee/ant researcher & Yuri, musician/writer, came in for the first time, then Lyndall & Warren spent an hour hanging out and so lovely to have tea & talk art as text, art as making, art as embodied knowledge and how the last 100 years of art thinking has somehow missed popular culture. I think the cultural references I am making with this work are obvious, but I am so close and it seems not. People want me to explain it, some before they have even explored the room. I have been, but I think I will ask them to check it out and then explain it to me before I volunteer anything.
I am having another day laughing at the “turtle effect” where people poke their heads around the wall to see if they want to come in before actually entering the space. I can hear the floor creak on the other side of the wall before anyone appears as well so I get warning and people kind of sidle in. Art galleries are so like libraries in that these are public spaces for whispering. I get why for libraries, but that response in a gallery is fascinating and kind of perplexing. Lucky for me Pilar & Tarryn’s show is loud with music so the gallery doesn’t have as much of the aura of hushed awe as usual.
Tiff & Lisa just showed up as well - ayeeee another cup of tea! so lovely tho & they are off to get me a burger! awesome.
I bought some clothes at a couple of the Outskirt stalls and have been parading through the room accompanied by Drosophila flurries whenever I pass their vessel. The Daphnia water trembles whenever I draw near…
Am waiting for swiss skype - where are you my monkeys?
PICA Day 24
Have had a bit of a rough day. Received an email from Sue of my Elena with a huge butterfly landed on her little 4 year old nose. I miss her and Felix terribly. Having my babies living on the other side of the planet while doing an exploration of care feels horrifyingly perverse. Very visceral and harsh realisation of interspecies difference - I would give up the care of these organisms and even my own cat in a second to care for my human babies.
Louie came in without her four foster children and we talked for a long time about caring for children that aren’t your biological offspring and the challenges of our institutional relationships.
PICA Day 23: Physarum polycephalum
Starting to get manky. Very excited! Smells sweet. It is so spectacular. Fascinated that it is only growing up the room side of the vessel not the wall side. Need to feed tomorrow.
PICA Day 23: Neurospora crassa
Cleaned the final soot off the surface of the vessel. The fineness of the mycelia is very lovely. It is behaving so differently from in the petri dish, climbing the walls n all.
PICA Day 23: Hydra vulgaris
Hydra are still not thriving after moving them away from the air pump vibration yesterday. Megs fed them and there seem to be tiny buds attached to the sides of the vessel - almost smaller than the newly hatched shrimp. Bought some rubber anti-slip matting for the air pump this morning and installed it to the drawer to dampen some of the vibration. Will also contact Southern Biological about some culture media. I miss them.