April 6, 2023

A Suggestive Wax Suggests A Wane

Greg Orrom Swan’s A Suggestive Wax Suggests A Wane depicts a woven and densely layered depiction of the woodlands cyclical patterns and rhythms, using the principles of alchemical transmutation and a process that Greg refers to as digital fermentation.

This emergent process layers and combines multiple sources of 3D scans, photogrammetry, 4K video, and mobile phone footage collectively gathered in Fermyn Woods and entwined together in a textual and digital ferment in an attempt to translate some of the overlaying forest ecologies in ways that other mediums might not. Actively presenting a complex view across and through ecological divisions that humans have drawn, the work chooses not to see a living tree as simply a nonhuman but also to perceive the microbes, lichen, water, proteins, fibres and so on which make up its tree-ness.

The work uses an overarching influence from alchemy and emblematic symbolism to try and communicate and explore the worlds we live in, working through ideas of forest transformation and transmutation that continually occur throughout the phenological cycles.

This work is available daily between the sunrise and sunset times in Fermyn Woods, UK, which today are to .

Music composed by Toby Boston.

A special thank you to the collective contributors and participants: Sarah Blackie, Clara Chu, Andy Eathorne, Stella Franc, Spencer Graham, James Steventon and Richard Wilkins.

Greg Orrom Swan is an artist, designer, and lecturer who looks at how ancient geology and current biology intersect, at both systemic and microscopic scales. He works across installation, digital media, and experiential art. He applies a molecular gaze, aiming to highlight how humans are not separate from the living world, but both distinct and similar to the nonhuman parts of our world. This poetic and conceptual space allows him to attempt to communicate the often strange and lurid connections between the different assemblages of humans and nonhumans, highlighting a shared ancestry. Currently lecturing at University of the Arts London, he has previously exhibited at the MoMA, NYC, London Design Festival, CPH:DOX international film festival. Greg has presented work at symposiums such as Ūmėdė Art+Tech Symposium, Vilnius; State Festival, Berlin; and shortlisted for the Lumen Art+Tech Prize, BioDesign Challenge, and the Bio Art & Design Award. Alongside exhibiting, Greg previously co-founded the bio-technology research start-up Olombria, which looked at future pollination systems using natural chemical signalling and pollinating hoverflies to supplement declining bee populations.

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