Articulated Works

MYCELIAL ACOUSTICS

I have been experimenting with different ways to produce acoustical panels and sculptural objects from fungi. I am interested in producing biodegradable, low-cost alternatives to conventional acoustical foams for use in site-specific sound installation, audio production, and classroom noise abatement.

This interest is spawned from the field of Mycoremediation, the practice of using fungi to remove pollutants from the environment.     I am focused on is the sonic environment of the world... a practice referred to by some as Acoustic Ecology, a term coined by R. Murray Shaffer in the late 1960's.

The motivation behind this inquiry is two-fold.

1) ...explore ways in which I might address the concept of noise pollution and remediation by operating in the realm of sound, creatingdialogues about awareness through site specific installations. Fungus is widely known for its role in soil remediation. My interest is to extend the application of remediation from the soil to the air.... specifically, the turbulence of air we call sound.

2) ...explore ways in which the acoustical properties (diffusion/absorption) of this material may be used to greatly improve unfavorable classroom environments that are overly reverberant or generally loud. Classroom noise abatement has been a focus of study for at least 30 years and has generally yielded evidence that excessive noise / reverberation in a classroom can be problematic for language acquisition in young students and that loud, noisy classrooms generally cause extra stress, depression, and fatigue in students. This is reportedly a particular problem in developing countries where classrooms are very loosely constructed and there may be much noise coming through the walls from the walls of adjacent classrooms. This leads to distraction which leads to ineffective classroom time.

Through this research I hope to form recipes to produce these low cost, panels, which can be grown in different growing media to produces different acoustic treatment, encouraging a hand-on process, empowering young students by offering them the opportunity to actively improve their own environment, learn about sound & perception, and get their hands dirty with with agricultural sculpture.

Thus far, I have built solid single panel structures and smaller modular elements that could potentially be configured in dynamic ways around a space. This research is ongoing as of 6/1/15.

Very special thanks to Marina Zurkow, Theresa Ten Eyck, and ITP/NYU.