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Dates: 12th September to 17th October 2004
Location: The Red Sea on Rundle Windows, 265 Rundle Street, Adelaide

amensalism An association between organisms of two different species in which one is inhibited or destroyed and the other is unaffected. (Encyclopaedia Britannica Online)

amensalism A type of symbiosis where two (or more) organisms from different species live in close proximity to one another, where one of the members suffers as a result of the relationship while the other is unaffected by it. (Hyperdictinary)

Amensal is an interactive installation work that explores the delicate balancing act that unfolds when nature ventures into the city. It explores the conflicts that occur between humans and nature by simulating an artificial, amsenal, symbiotic relationship between the audience and the growth of a giant lichen across an urban surface. Lichens were chosen as a the central identity for this piece as lichens, when found in nature, are themselves symbiotic relationships between species;

A giant lichen grows across a surface in fits and starts and conspicuous wriggles, accompanied by the sound of its scratchy progression. The lichen is magnified thousands of times to reveal its subtle colours, textures and minute details. This lichen is sensitive. If a noise is made near the lichen it becomes more tentative and its rate of growth reduces, if the environment gets too noisy the lichen nervously shrinks and withdraws. If the shadow of a passer-by falls upon the lichen then the lichen may become affected by an insidious black decay that may devour it completely. If the viewer wishes to experience the full growth of the lichen, they must be quiet and still and be careful where their shadow falls.

Cicada is a creative partnership between Kirsten Bradley and Nick Ritar. Cicada produce public art architectural projections, interactive installations, live audio video performances and projections for theatre and dance. Nick and Kirsten began working together in 2001.

“Cicada are deft manipulators of the video image, who work primarily in public sites in order to articulate the 'micro-narratives' of urban environments. Their vision is to engage with the fabric of cities, seeking to animate architectural surfaces. They provide new perspectives on familiar places and search for the silent voices that might lie beneath the facades of fabricated structures. Cicada create an experience for the audience which is mesmerising and immersive, giving momentum to spaces which during daylight hours might not even register on the compass of passing pedestrian traffic.”
Julianne Pierce
Primavera exhibition catalogue
September 2003


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