Understory

by Loren Kronemyer
Worm Wide Web
is a collection of videos that document the live performance of garden insects. Moving in condensed time-lapse, the creatures appear to congregate together and articulate familiar symbols related to communications technology. Originally conceived as part of the City of Subiaco pARk project, these videos are embedded in the site-specific augmented reality app hosted by the Subiaco Art Centre.  When viewed through the app, the videos are overlayed onto the pavement, making it appear as though the insects are appearing out of the garden itself.  Standing on their own, the videos exist as a simple but evocative tribute to the innovative communication and emergent intelligence strategies of these commonplace garden fauna.

The other videos in this series can be viewed here.

To see more of Loren’s artwork, visit her website.

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Wormy Girl: Torso Container

by Ann Corley Silverman

torso-wormbinMy wormy torso sits in the kitchen and I feed her scraps of my daily life while another universe of life inhabits her Œ”guts”. The micro-biome that inhabits our own guts are as essential to the self we navigate through the world as the worms are to this artwork.

I’m following an impulse to connect body and soil in a way that elevates ordinary dirt to the level of beauty and awe that is usually reserved for life forms above ground or far away in the celestial heavens.

Torso-open

Breakfast with Cantaloupe

What happens when worms are engaged in the artmaking process?
By Ann Corley Silvermanvermibook_AnnSilvermancrop
~ We could not eat a cantaloupe without the work of the decomposers who make the soil on which the melon depends. ~ The cotton placemats depend on soils for the cotton plant to grow, and laborers for planting; plucking the seed fibers; spinning the thread; weaving the fabric; and designing and making the finished cutwork placemat. Setting the table: to provide all the things for a gathering of people to eat and drink together.

Breakfast with Cantaloupe is about setting tables. The cantaloupe was for the red wriggler composting worms. They love the juicy parts of the cantaloupe. They were happy with their placemat habitat and stayed until they had eaten all but the lacey part of the rind. I wanted that part. They were my reliable collaborators. Back to the worm bin they went, and I to my meditations about tables, food, and labor.

– Ann Corley Silverman

Earthworm: drawings from observation

An exploration of external and internal anatomy, by Katherine Beigel

Section from Katherine Beigel's drawing

Ecologically indispensable, the earthworm is an intriguing organism both inside and out. With musculature and a digestive system that span its entire length, the earthworm’s activity in its environment contributes a slew of biogeochemical effects to the surrounding soils and local organisms. I took careful observations of its anatomical structures, particularly as they may relate to the worm’s physiology and behavior. Like many organisms that contribute to overall ecosystem health, the earthworm’s evolutionary lineage is intimately intertwined with its habitat. Understanding this valuable relationship allows humans to incorporate it into their own dwellings, overlapping the boundaries of modern human living with the natural world.

– Katherine Beigel


This interactive installation offers human participants an opportunity to tune into – and bodily experience – the vibrations made by tiny, soil-dwelling beings. Humans continue to be interested in detecting signals of extra-terrestrial life in outer space, but have overlooked the intra-terrestrial signals of life – the worms and insects that sustain our own terrestrial existence. This highly amplified environment allows humans a chance to appreciate these extraordinary life forms through live, amplified sounds and infrared video. Hopefully this experience will give a viewer/participant a different sense of the life inside the earth; one that goes beyond the scientific and instead approaches something more akin to fellowship, communion or appreciation.

by Amy M. Youngs

Digestive Table

An ecosystem of worms, sowbugs, plants and bacteria live and eat at this table. They are a part of the digestive system that starts with a person discarding food leftovers and shredded paper into the portal at the top. The bacteria and sowbugs begin breaking down the waste and the worms soon join in to further digest it into a rich compost that sprinkles out of the bottom of the fabric bag that hangs beneath the table. This compost is used as a fertilizer for plants, such as those at the base of the table.

The human plays an important part at the table by eating, feeding the food waste to the worms, feeding the resulting fertilizer to the plants, or by simply sitting and appreciating the living ecosystem she/he is a part of. A cross-section of the activity inside the top 9 inches of the compost is made visible using an infrared security camera connected to an LCD screen built into the table. On the screen, viewers can see the live movements of the worms and sowbugs inside.

By Amy M. Youngs