absolute value of noise
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Poison Mentor
An outdoor installation by Absolute Value of Noise © 2009.

Poison Mentor is a sonic tree fungus. It is a creature of many eyes (solar cells), all pointing in different directions. In bright sunlight, the eyes are active at different times of the day, causing the fungus to swing through various moods as the day progresses and the lighting conditions change. This fungus is a scientist. It has become aware of increased radiometric activity in its surroundings and has decided to study this phenomenon. In a very un-fungus like way, it has become attracted to the sun as a means of powering systems that can monitor this radiation. It uses antenna-tendrils to follow patterns from am/fm radio, television, cell phones, atmospheric phenomenon, etc. It reports its findings, through an audio speaker, as clicks and pops (similar to a geiger counter).


Mentors making noise under bright sunlight - recorded August 2009.


Exhibited during Second Site II at VanDusen Botanical Garden, July 4th to September 6th, 2009. Photo of the mentors growing on a tree near the Korean Pavilion.


"s" on the left and "t" on the right. The white wire tendrils pickup electric field radiation. The fungi react to sunlight that reaches through the tree canopy. Noisey in the morning and late afternoon. Quiet around lunch time.


"s" reacts to very quick changes in radiometric activity.


"t" measures events over a few minutes and then creates clicks based on the average activity over this time.



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