Xylem (2015). With Deirdre Harrison, KG Price, and Bea Tabacchi. Speakers, flax seed, field recordings, sine waves, found objects, handmade paper, wildflower seeds, tea service. Realized at I Grow Chicao during the Chicago Home Theater Festival, spring 2015.
xy·lem | noun | (‘zīl m) the vascular tissue in plants that conducts water and dissolved nutrients upward from the root and also helps to form the woody element in the stem.
Xylem is an intergenerational, multimedia installation and performance articulating space for re-flection on the nurturing relationships in our lives and embracing imperfections that may result. Found objects are transformed with the visual art of Bea Tabacchi, driven to illuminate intangible family ties across oceans and generations. Sound artist Kimberly Sutton highlights the destruction that comes with growth, subjecting speakers to weeks of soaking in order to sprout flax seeds on their surface, the tiny beginnings of roots corrupting machine-perfect reproduction of sound. Field recordings of birds and bees and spoken poetry of Deirdre Harrison weave in and out of pure sine waves, transformed by the process of growth on each speaker head. The sound articulates a space for reflection as Harrison serves tea and leads us in a moment of personal reflection on motherhood, providing handmade paper containing seeds for us to plant a thought of gratitude and watch it grow. KG Price turns ever inward, growing plants in tiny necklaces to explore nurturing and adornment. He also dedicated many hours to tending plants as a donation to I Grow Chicago. highlighting the kind of creative work that populates our daily lives, the kind that will never be displayed and viewed as a thing of beauty in itself.