Bichicuchitu & Bichicu-Chow

by Pat Badani


For me, the action of artmaking is like cooking in an alchemist’s kitchen – literally so because many of my projects are born in my kitchen and further developed in other environments and mediums in a process that involves assembling and collecting things together, witnessing rupture or disturbance, and remaining open to unexpected events in order to gain new access to the real. Through the ‘testing’ process, ideas, substances and mediums are continually ‘boiled down’ and remixed. Following this logic, in 2019 I began growing Live bio-sculptures of moldy vegetables and fruits in my incubator. My observation of these bioprocesses provided a framework for digital simulation works developed with 3D computer modeling software. Mold and fungi can be found in every pocket of the globe, with substances continually acting with one another and creating networks that shape life – a development that my DIY bio-forms enable me to sample, observe, and document. Bichicuchitu and Bichicu-Chow give form to my ensuing reflections. Inspired by factual/fictional narratives about sentient species and the rarity of ecosystems, the artworks underscore processes associated with cycles of living and dying, composition and disintegration, growth and decay, and adaptability and resilience. The uncanny photorealistic 3D renderings are intended to amplify cognitive dissonance in the viewer by suggesting provisional boundaries between entities, organisms, and species. They involve evolution of new forms that, through transition and transposition, unfold expressive intensity that not only intermingles boundaries but also highlights the role of technology in fathoming emotion in new forms of visual narratives. In this regard, I see art as tool for mediation of knowledge about complex phenomena occurring in times of uncertainty about the future triggered by climate change and ecological crisis.