Immersive art exhibit

Brindamour art exhibit in McCarthy interactive, immersive

November 14, 2019
Meagan Beatty '20

Artist Amelie Brindamour works on her exhibit in the McCarthy Arts Center Gallery in the above image prior to the opening of the interactive exhibit. Photo shows how one aspect of the exhibit might appear to engaged visitors. (photo by Max Rossignol ’23)

Saint Michael’s College on Thursday, November 7 hosted artist Amelie Brindamour and presented an exhibit of her latest project, titled En Oscillation, in the McCarthy Arts Center Gallery.

Described on Brindamour’s website as “An interactive and immersive installation combining sculptural elements to an electronic circuit,” the exhibit is composed of five steel structures covered in a white powder coating, on which mushrooms are installed. All the mushrooms were molded in transparent colored resin from real mushrooms that Brindamour picked herself.

“Really the inspiration for the work was the mycorrhizal fungi network,” Brindamour said.  “This is a network that is a relationship between more than 90 percent of trees and fungi, and in a way I’m very impressed by this interspecies relationship — but instead of the plants and the trees, it’s the humans that are interacting with the fungi in this project.”

Installed inside each mushroom in the exhibit is an LED light, and visitors are invited to press a pressure sensor that activates an electronic circuit, which triggers the sound and the lights that observers see and hear in the exhibit. “I’m using non-programmable circuits, so the sound that you hear is only the electricity traveling in the circuits — it’s not recorded sound,” said Brindamour.
Brindamour at St. Michael's College
The project is reminiscent of and evokes imagery of the internet, but takes inspiration from nature. The project “establishes parallels between the mycorrhizal fungi network under the forest floor and our contemporary communication systems,” according to a description of the project on Brindamour’s website.

“In a way, the mycorrhizal fungi network is a much more distributive and collaborative system,” said Brindamour. Will Mentor of the Saint Michael’s fine arts/art & design faculty observed that there’s no real main focus in the project, and that it is really like the mycorrhizal network “in that it is distributive toward the space.”

The exhibit was observed and experienced by many Saint Michael’s art students.

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