Artifical Memories

Eye Thorn Forrest

Eye Thorn Forrest, Video and Sound Installation, 4:05, 2021

in collaboration with Wilson Minshall (sound)

In the collaborative video and sound installation, Eye Thorn Forrest, Katina Bitsicas and Wilson Minshall reposition disintegrating traces of memory across visual-aural lines, connecting these mappings through their firsthand affiliations with mushroom foraging.

Bitsicas explores one of her earliest foraging experiences with her mother where she got a raspberry thorn in her eye, sampling manipulated tape footage of her mother’s laser eye surgery and videos of her forest walks as a way to locate and connect to this event. Metaphorically connecting the spontaneous appearance of memories with physical growths occurring beyond the reaches of the eye, the visuals disintegrate in and out of clear view.

The sound piece paired with the video includes field recordings of Minshall’s mushroom walks which dissolve through granular sample manipulation techniques, sounding the imperfect but persistent growth patterns of both mycelia and memory. Reinterpreting the chance operations of John Cage’s mesostic poem, Mushrooms et Variationes, they find “letters” in the woods (in forms of branches, leaves, mushroom growths and the names of the mushrooms found in local areas), using these as generative prompts for spoken reflections while foraging. Minshall’s interest in mushroom foraging was birthed from a friendship with their now lost friend, Forrest, using this textual-experiential chance process to actively continue their spirit in practice.

Merging the remixed observations of both artists, the video installation implies an expansive process of recollection and becoming forwarded through interactions with ever-shifting local environments as a means of processing loss through memory. This practice reinterprets the chance operations and indeterminate practices of John Cage.

This project was made possible through a collaboration with the John Cage Trust.