Very excited to be heading to Miami for Art Week where I will be exhibiting a monumental AR artwork, Mushroom Cloud, over Miami Beach through Aorist, a new fine art NFT platform. I will also be speaking on two panels about NFTs- more on that soon!
About Mushroom Cloud:
30/11/2021 Geolocated over the Faena Beach and the South Pointe Pier, Miami, accessible via 4th Wall app
This installation can be seen as an extension of Baker Cahill’s recent research and practice — notably her 2021 AR projects in Los Angeles, Seoul, and Berlin; Legacy, which drew attention to the threat of climate change by creating a spinning tree upended in chaos over the Pacific Ocean and Tempelhofer Field; and the NFT, site-specific, collaborative project Contract Killers, which framed the lack of accountability surrounding eco-laws and contractual agreements in the context of broken social contracts.
The Mushroom Cloud installation itself is an animated drawing that is accessed through 4th Wall, Baker Cahill’s free AR application. Viewers will witness Baker Cahill’s AR drawing as it explodes up from the ocean surface and transforms overhead into a cloud of a different kind; a resilient and generative mycelial network (fungal colonies which form the connective tissue of all carbon-based life on earth) in the sky. The rhizomatous fungal structure’s filaments eventually spread through the sky, creating a beautiful and intricate sequence of interconnected arteries.
This project insists upon viewer action and interaction; they must journey to the pier or to the beach to engage directly with the artwork. The artist’s hope is that the act of gazing upward might prompt an embodied experience of ‘ergonomic awe,’ an awareness of our interdependence in the face of climate crisis, and thoughtful solutions mirrored in nature's most caring and interconnected systems of survival.
Here, Baker Cahill drives home the importance of looking to nature to remedy and provide hope for our planet’s ecological future. In this project, Baker Cahill and her Contract Killers collaborator, art attorney Sarah Conley Odenkirk, dig deeper into what it means to be part of a decentralized sustainable network, and to be accountable to one another and to the planet. Supplementing the NFT structure, which is built on the Algorand blockchain, Conley Odenkirk articulates bespoke terms that support the visual work of Baker Cahill. Collectors will have the opportunity to acquire ‘nodes’ that mimic the coloring and aesthetics of the mycelium filaments in the animation. Each cube will consist of a Caribbean-blue base and a suspended ‘spore’ representing the collector’s role in supporting and germinating another mycelium structure and making a meaningful contribution to an interactive community. The nodes are offered as singular ‘primary nodes’ (6 x 6 inches), ‘secondary nodes’ (4 x 4 inches), or 'tertiary nodes' (2 x 2 inches). As an outward manifestation/extension of the project’s NFT agreement, collectors are invited to ‘gift’ a smaller node to someone meaningful in their community, stimulating a generative force and a wide sustainable network beyond themselves. Using AR, Baker Cahill effectively provides a platform and installation that advocates for human responsibility and accountability in the ecological crisis, inspiring the audience to create connections with one another and to be active in encouraging sustainability in their everyday lives.
By blanketing the sky with this poetics of interconnectedness, I invite viewers to perceive a multi-nodal, communal, often invisible cloudThis project invites direct action in the form of NFT video captures, related sculptural objects or 'nodes', and purely digital images of abstract spores. Each represents a stage of engagement and participation in a newly imagined system of accountability. In collaboration with art attorney Sarah Conley Odenkirk, we are deploying the transparent, contractual language of blockchain in 'network contracts' to frame value as ethical values, asking collectors to seed regenerative networks of care by gifting one or more of the 'node' sculptures to a person or people to whom one is deeply connected. Digital 'spores' might be more widely distributed as an appeal to build infinite hyphae — the branching filaments of mycelium. Slowly but powerfully, we could grow a supportive network, like mycelium, based on self-repairing structures. By blanketing the sky with this poetics of interconnectedness, we invite viewers to perceive a multi-nodal, communal, often invisible cloud — one that might privilege interdependence and generosity. With re-conceived accountabilities, perhaps we could prompt a productive balance of grief and hope, shattering and coalescing, and decomposition and rebirth.