If you look and listen closely in the Fern Room, you’ll notice some of the ferns trembling. This is Susurrati, an installation by Chicago artist Deborah Stratman with collaborator Rob Ray. Solenoids programmed at rhythmic intervals control the vibration patterns and add a faint tapping clatter, like an idiosyncratic Morse code. The Fern Room becomes a horto-fictional set, animated by selectively vibrating ferns. Plants turn into communicants that seem to whisper rumors about something unforeseen. If sound is “touch at a distance,”* Susurrati is a composition of trembles.
*Anne Fernald, Professor of Psychology, Stanford University
Fern Room, Lincoln Park Conservatory
2391 N. Stockton Drive
ReceptionSunday, December 6, 3-5pm
About the Artists
Deborah Stratman is an artist interested in landscapes and systems. Much of her work points to relationships between discrete environments and the struggles for power and control that play out there. Recent projects have addressed freedom, expansionism, surveillance, sonic warfare, public speech, sinkholes, levitation, propagation, orthoptera, raptors, comets and faith. She has exhibited internationally at venues including MoMA, Centre Pompidou, Hammer Museum, the Whitney Biennial, and film festivals including Sundance, Viennale, Oberhausen, Ann Arbor, Full Frame and Rotterdam. Deborah teaches at the University of Illinois at Chicago.
Rob Ray creates feral installations, chapbooks, videos and sound compositions for public and outdoor spaces. His interactive disorienteering guide, GET LOST! was commissioned by the Abandon Normal Devices Festival in Manchester, UK and exhibited at Conflux 2012 in New York and the Tracing Mobility festival in Berlin, Germany. From 1999 to 2008, Rob was founding curator of the DEADTECH electronic arts center in Chicago. He performs as AUGH! in the streets and as I Love Presets with Jason Soliday and Jon Satrom. He has launched the EXOSKELETON project in Los Angeles this year.
Florasonic is a unique program that commissions composers and artists to make new site-specific music and audio art installations for the Fern Room of the Lincoln Park Conservatory, a turn-of-the-century greenhouse. Curated by ESS Executive Director Lou Mallozzi, Florasonic presents each project for three to five months, visited by an estimated 500 to 1,000 people each day.