Organic Chemistry, 2017
Mixed media, transfer pipettes, test tubes, flower water vials, luminescent pigment, synthetic resin, rare earth minerals, outdoor lights, timer, stereo speakers and mp3 micro player.
Organic Chemistry uses sound and luminescent sculpture to create an enchanting and immersive habitat within the Blue Mountains rainforest. The project aims to create a sense of wonder and generate awareness of the native environment by highlighting the bioluminescence that occurs amongst the fireflies, glow-worms and fungi that live there.
The work consists of a large outdoor installation, set up along the Blue Mountains Scenic World boardwalk. The aerial and grounded components of the installation include an assemblage of multiple transparent test tubes, transfer pipettes and other materials reminiscent of chemistry compounds. Organic Chemistry creates an animated ecosystem that slowly glows, oscillates and emits sound. The sculpture is sensitive to natural elements and moves with the breeze, rain and wind. It glows under the effect of luminescent particles, which become chemically charged when exposed to both natural and artificial light sources that have been set up within the installation. The afterglow becomes visible only when the background light returns to a semi-dark condition. A looping, experimental sonic track plays within the installation, furthering the immersive experience of the work. It includes a collage of field recording and experimental sounds that amplify the silent processes of organic chemistry taking place in the forest area. The soundscape is created by Trevor Brown. Organic Chemistry is kindly supported by The School of Chemistry at the University of Sydney. It is part of MFA Marta Ferracin’s investigation into the phenomena of bioluminescence and chemiluminescence.