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Nicrocosms: Studies on Scavenging and Renewal

Exhibition  curated by Tracie Hayes at Bodega Bay Marine Lab


See dew

See Dew is a human-scale  fog collector that takes the form of a Nicrophanous beetle pupa to explore how plants, animals, and humans adapt, collect, and navigate through mystic landscapes of fog. See Dew focuses  on seeing what the place does and how the body is embedded in that being.


Nicrocosms: Studies on scavenging and renewal
is an outdoor group exhibition showcasing the work of 9 artists engaging with themes related to the life history and ecological research on a scavenging beetle present at the site

Beetles in the genus Nicrophorus, or burying beetles, search for a small carcass that they then bury in the soil in order to reproduce. A pair of burying beetles will work together to defend the rare, ephemeral, and high-nutrient carcass from microbial competitors and other interested organisms. They bury the carcass together and the female will lay eggs nearby. Once the carcass has been protected, buried, and preserved, both parents use the carrion to feed their larvae when they hatch.

In my research at the Bodega Marine Reserve, I use experimental chambers in the field to investigate the effects of temperature, competition, resource quality, microhabitat, and fog regime on burying beetle reproductive success. I have been calling these chambers nicrocosms, after Paul E. Hopwood et al.’s 2016 paper in Ecological Entomology. In this paper, nicrocosm is a play off of microcosm or mesocosm, an experimental set-up used in ecology to run controlled manipulations in small spaces that are still relevant to and part of the natural world. The root cosm, though, holds an even greater weight, meaning “world,” “order,” and “universe.” In this way, each nicrocosm in the field encapsulates an entire universe: an answer to an ecological question, the life’s work of an unseen beetle, birth and death, and the passing of time.

This exhibition will consist of works that serve as nicrocosms themselves, portals into the often overlooked and misunderstood world of scavengers. Burying beetles, in many ways, are the ultimate scavengers: they rely on and are adapted to a fleeting resource, and they play a crucial role in processing the dead so that those nutrients can be used again by the greater ecosystem. Whether using local and found materials, circular and sustainable processes, visual storytelling, or some combination, each artist provides a novel way to see and experience the living world we are within. - -Tracie Hayes
photo credit: Elizabeth Herring

Carbon Copy

Exhibition with Joshua G. Stein curated by Kitty Ross at AB Projects in Los Angeles


Carbon Copy

Months of conversations between artists Rosemary Holliday Hall, Joshua G. Stein (Radical Craft), and guest curator Kitty Ross revolved around notions of material in geologic, biologic, architectural, atmospheric, and ceramic iterations.

If the landscape consists of the earth and the atmosphere, architecture exists between the two. Material particles—animal, vegetable, and mineral—move between these realms, blurring the boundaries of each. Hardened compounds like limestone were once living creatures. Hermit crabs collect minerals and objects from their surroundings to shield their bodies in a protective enclosure. Humans dig vast pits to harvest materials to erect buildings of the very materials upon which their architecture stands. The cavities are then filled with debris, either deliberately or via the ongoing movement of particles, and the pit becomes a mound. Birds swallow gastroliths as a mechanism for grinding food in their gizzards. Whales, seals and crocodiles are also known to swallow gastroliths, perhaps to serve as ballast. The soft body of an oyster transforms mineral irritants into pearls. Conversely, body ‘stones’ such as gallstones, bladder stones and kidney stones are painful formations of somatic minerals. The human body is geology and, accordingly, we humans are geologic agents.

This exhibition is a poetic examination of the transference, atomization and tracing of materials over time, and a means of questioning how we live, build, make, and evolve in the Anthropocentric landscape. - Kitty Ross

becoming Feral

Digital & Print publication  published & designed by Objet-a Creative Studio


 Chrysalis lepidoptera

Becoming connotes the recurrent act of deconstructing boundaries between bodies, constructing malleable new edges in which both identities exist simultaneously - a continual performance of immanence and difference...Becoming-feral constitutes a line of flight away from individuated and subjugated life forms, which are policed by the logistics of human exceptionalism, towards the messy mystical multiplicity of a world in common, a world of shared and multitudinal ecologies.
- Chessa Adsit-Morris, becoming Feral

now imagine

you’re a caterpillar

filmy eyes,

wet creased wings

slushy slop

becoming—Feral is a creative research publication which aims to investigate the complex relationships between human/other-animals and the shifting categories of wild/feral/domestic, set within landscapes constantly being altered by global transformations of climate and capitalism. We are interested in exploring reciprocal and responsive multispecies reactions to the act of becoming-Feral.

The becoming—Feral Digital Collection acts as a companion collection to the print publication, presenting multimedia and extended entries of video art, audio/music, interviews, and photographic essays.

Sound Scene Fest: Emerge

Group Performance Festival created by DC Listening Lounge supported by DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities, the Smithsonian Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, WPFW, Goethe Institut DC 

Washington DC
June 24-26


 de | composition

For Sound Scene Fest: Emerge 2021, DC musicians Sarah Marie Hughes, Nik Francis, Nate Scheible, Corey Thuro, and Luke Stewart were given a score that transposed disease spots on leaves into notation. Drawing from the idea of emergence ( the way small actions create complex systems) the performance engaged in non-hierarchical creative processes, where the role of the composer was dispersed to every musician. Decomposition becoming composition.

A decaying leaf offers the opportunity for continual iteration, composition, and interpretation. de | composition  as an ongoing project that aims   to tune a curious listener to the unfurling world of possibility in the earth’s multifaceted ability to communicate.



Heaven Gallery

Group Exhibition Curated by Pia Singh

Chicago, IL
Dec 11- Jan 24


Surface Tension

video installation

music sheet printmedia

Group Show with: Yani Aviles, Ashley Gillanders, Rosemary Holliday Hall, SaraNoa Mark, Galen-Odell Smedley

The evolution of natural forms and the evolution of human perception have coincided to produce the phenomenon of a potential recognition: what is and what we can see sometimes meet at a point of affirmation. This point, this affirmation, is two-faced: what has been seen is recognized and affirmed, and at the same time the seer is affirmed by what he sees.
-John Berger, 2016

Surface tension is a condition that is created by an entanglement of electrons. Electrons that are sensitive to the presence of magnetic fields. They entangle, enmesh, proliferate one another, combining and recombining to create different conditions to achieve different states. What state are you in while viewing this exhibit? What state are we in, collectively, in relation to history?

Rosemary Holliday Hall’s site specific installation ‘Adhesion’ is an assemblage of the artists interest in nature, forms, and patterns, and how humanity interacts with these elements (specifically in conditions of the crisis). Hailing from Los Angeles, Hall spent the initial months of 2020 relocating from Chicago to the West coast. Traversing the country at the beginning of summer, she spent weeks physically immersing herself, bodily processing ‘poesis’ with the earth. According to Heidegger, ‘poesis’ can be found in the blooming of a blossom, or the coming-out of a butterfly from its cocoon. This threshold, the moment ecstasis, is where Hall positions her inquiry. Reflecting on how experience and perception are conditioned by time and repetition, the artist melds the moment of the ‘event’ with a memory of it, while drawing up a conjuring or dream of the same. ‘Permeable Permutations’ captures autumn colored leaves with natural spore variations or bacterial discolorations, arranged as sheet music. What can be heard in a display of warning signs? Could this be read as a tune or is it nature's silent scream, a sort of self-cannibalism in protest of the climate crisis we’re currently experiencing? Hall arranges spotted yellowing leaves as sheet music for the viewer, who is also the player, inviting them to take part in the process of dying. Looking closely at nature during a global pandemic, a civil uprising and a US election year, Hall and her peers' works speak to a variety of concerns. To sit with the experience of non-locality (the basic connectivity of everything in nature), each of us become the determiner of what we choose to see (and be). The observer as the observed. The participant, as maker. The thinker, as doer.
- Pia Singh


Glass Curtain Gallery 

Third Coast Disrupted: Artists + Scientists on Climate

Group Exhibition

Chicago, IL
Sept 10-Oct30


River of Shadows, Liquidation 

video projection, porcelian casts of water retaining plants, spoons made from smashed pennies and steel,  seeds

Third Coast Disrupted: Artists + Scientists on Climate is an exhibition of artworks culminating a yearlong conversation between artists and scientists centered on Climate Change impacts in the Chicago region and beyond.

Hall’s multimedia installation explores economies and ecologies of water as a subject of tension. As temperatures rise the atmosphere can physically hold more water, which is made visible through extreme weather events, flooding, and drought throughout the planet.

In a dark room  the viewer is enveloped in the folk song “Goin’ Down the Road Feelin Bad” sung by Ward H Ford. Projected on one wall is a spoon pouring water onto a larger-than-life penny, reaching capacity. The video suggests value systems based in economies of extraction have driven the road we are on to a bad place, a catastrophic tipping point. Accompanying the video is an installation of 108 ceramic casts of water retaining plants and seeds, which ask- how might we plant seeds for a living and more resilient future? Like ghosts of the present, the plants suggest the future of our planet lies in systems of value beyond monetary systems and towards those that value care and an understanding of the inter-being of all organisms.

Participating Artists: Jeremy Bolen, Barbara Cooper, Hector Duarte, Rosemary Holliday Hall, N. Masani Landfair, Meredith Leich, Andrew Yang

Participating Scientists: Elena Grossman, MPH; Daniel Horton, Ph.D.; Abigail Derby Lewis, Ph.D.; Aaron Packman, Ph.D.; Katherine Moore Powell, Ph.D; Desi Robertson-Thompson, Ph.D., Phil Willink, Ph.D

porcelian casts made from dead plants collected from the street cracks of Chicago, held by spoons made from smashed pennies and steel stakes, video projection , &  packets of water retaining native plant species

image credit: Columbia College

Paris London Hong Kong

Solo Exhibition

Chicago, IL
Jan 10- Feb 22


 Encyclia imagosis

metal and oxidized fabric
On the one hand, Encyclia Imagosis reads like a spell, and on the other the scientific discourse of taxonomy. Encyclia Imagosis stems from Greek, enkykleomai, “to encircle”, imago, imagination’s root, and osis, a suffix denoting a process or condition. Encyclia Imagosis casts a spell on categorical fixity. It proposes a cyclical destabilization and refashioning of imagination’s role in the processes of transformation, like a child’s incantation challenging the malaise of taxonomy.

The Codex Seraphinianus is an illustrated encyclopedia of an imaginary world, created by Luigi Serafini, written in a self-invented alphabet. It contains hundreds of hybrids, imaginary and strange beings: a horse transforms into a cocoon, a bird’s nest sprouts legs with yellow sneakers, lovers become a crocodile. Each undergoes metamorphosis, creatively overcoming bodily limits. Many real creatures are stranger than imagined. The caterpillar, for example, encases itself in a chrysalis into which it releases enzymes that digest its own form, liquidating its’ tissues. Only structures called imaginal discs survive, able to reorder the larval soup into a new being. Through this process of imagination, caterpillars push themselves into a different future, the confines of their chrysalis paradoxically enabling their flight forward into the unfamiliar, just as the imagination does for other species.

Encyclia Imagosis consists of four human-scale oxidizing chrysalis sculptures. They mark an evolutionary world, where objects are process and forms are dynamic patterns creating symmetries, hybrids, mutations. Through an embodied exploration of the possibilities of reorienting both personal perception and cultural convention, Encyclia Imagosis investigates various ways we make sense of the world and relate to ourselves and others through imagination, metaphor, and material

image credit: Aron Gent

The Blue Parrot

Solo Exhibition + Artist Residency at The Blue Parrot 

Chicago, IL
March 5 & 8


This project was made possible thanks to the support of Emilio Williams and Dr. Robert Murphy


windshields, steel, projection, garage

locally sourced clay, steel spoons, brick

The solo exhibition, Collabiosis, culminated a multi-month  artist residency at the Blue Parrot in Chicago, IL.

/kəˈlabi ōsis|

A process or condition of collapsing together.

Collabiosis is an invented word that comes from combining - collabi ( the etymological root of  collapse and collaboration) and  osis (a suffix denoting a process or condition of change). Utilizing a wide range of materials which include: locally sourced clay, windshields, projection, and steel spoons, the multi-roomed installation investigates  transformation, perception, and time, highlighting the relationships between deconstruction and construction, chaos, and order.

image credit: Astro Escuadero

Public Presentation + Exhibition
In collaboration with Predrag Popovic
Phd in Geophysical Sciences
University of Chicago

Chicago, IL
May 10


This project was made possible thanks to the support of The Art Science and Culture Initiative
at The University of Chicago and School of the Art Institute of Chicago

 Stigmergy || The Space Inside Repetition

termites, sound, cabinet, book, cds, acrylic 

The patterns of bird flocking, microbial growth, and insect colonies have captured the human imagination for centuries.  These patterns demonstrate swarm intelligence, a process where an emergent order arises from seemingly random biological activity, and where apparently dissimilar systems can show very similar behaviour. Predrag Popovic (PhD candidate, Geophysical Sciences, UChicago) and Rosemary Hall ’s (MFA ‘19, Printmedia, SAIC) research focused on the oldest eusocial insect, the termite, and stigmergy (a key concept in the field of swarm intelligence).

The collaboration resulted in a multimedia installation, which included a sound filtering algorithm modeled after stigmergy and a library of books eaten by live termites. The termites ate a book from Life Nature Series, titled, The Universe.Cellulose pages and maps of the cosmos were submitted to termite editing. In time, the termites consumed and created their own architecture out of The Universe.

Through wondering in a termite’s wandering this collaboration searched for hybrid, inbetween, and experimental, translations that invite a broader spectrum of interpretation. Our flesh, our limbs, our movements are inscribed with a multispecies history. The pattern which connects may be best articulated through the poetry of interspecies relations, movements and behaviour.

Image Credit: Brittany Laurent

Sullivan Galleries

MFA Thesis Exhibition

Chicago, IL
May 10


 A Predicament of Pressure

clay collected from construction sites in chicago, metal, engraved chicago common brick

Image Credit: Astro Escudero

Space P11

Two- Person Exhibition  collaboration with Alberto Trejo Oretga

Chicago, IL
Jan 27- March 11


This project was possible thanks to the support of:
Jonathan Solomon and David L. Hays.

The Issue You Mentioned Earlier

On March 19th, 2015, Florida’s emergency management chief Bryan Koon testified before the State Senate Budget Subcommittee on the news that the Federal Emergency Management Agency would pull federal funding from states that refuse to directly address climate change.

In alignment with his position of climate change denial, Koon went through a series verbal gymnastics to avoid using the scientific term for our current catastrophic path in his statements.A scaled steel cofferdam displays phrases exchanged in official emails by climate change deniers in the US Senate. Such phrases are projected over a melted piece of ice, residue of the Polar Vortex that hit Chicago one week before the opening of the show. Thuribles for a poisonous mushroom colloquially known as Destroying Angel embody the abstract threat of climate change. The gallery’s circuit box frames a nilometer that measures the scales of an Ideal Flood and a two channel video installation loops the works “Catastrophic Ice Formation” and “Order is human.”

Video, fuse box, acrylic, metal, projection, mushrooms

Image Credit: Brittany Laurent and Alberto Ortega

Carbon Copy

Group Exhibition with Carbon Copy Collective

Chicago, IL
March 5 & 8


Noise of Dust

weather balloon, wood armature, white noise projection

Image Credit: Woojin Shin


Group Exhibition with Carbon Copy Collective

Chicago, IL
March 5 & 8


The show's title is a mondegreen of "Diprosopus," the rare medical condition of two-headedness.

Die Prosperous

clay interventions, brick dust, plastic bag, metal hooks, rocks

Image Credit: Astro Escuadero