This project continues Kudla’s intensive research and practice focused on growing generative displays. Time binds growth with decay, and viewing Growth Pattern over a period of several months or in time lapse video documentation couples those qualities in a rather astonishingly direct way. Kudla’s method in this project is to die cut symmetrical patterns from tobacco leaves and suspend them in sterilized square petri dishes holding a growth medium, such that each square tile represents the geometric essence of one leaf. The tiles are arranged in an overall geometrically regular pattern, and when fresh, form a beautifully harmonious display. Yet they are anything but still. Demonstrating the phenomena of cell totipotentiality, or the ability of certain living cells to differentiate into any of the organism’s parts, the artist tweaks growth from the cut leaves by calibrating the mix of chemicals in their surround. Only some of the leaves respond, if the tile has been given the precise level of sterility required. Even as this delicately green, fragile process of new growth is taking place in one tile, fungal parasites may have invaded the tile next door and begun to muddy the display and overshadow its aliveness. Growth Pattern suggests that there is beauty also to be found in this mixed micro/macro-organic ruin.
Allison Kudla (United States)
VIDA 13.2 - Special mention