Fungiversum

DIY project
Berlin / 2022

Fungiversum (Sieniversumi in Finnish) is a little machine made for Art & Craft School Robotti. Robotti is a Finnish non-profit association, which provides activities for children that encourage creative exploration of technology through art. I’ve collaborated earlier with Robotti and made the Call the Forest installation for a children’s touring exhibition. In the current project, Robotti is working on providing inspirational learning materials for art teachers in collaboration with artists who work with technology.

When I was asked to create a small electronic art project in the DIY spirit, I thought it would be great to include some open archival materials in the work. There are lots of wonderful archival materials available online, which are in the public domain or otherwise available for reuse. I’ve worked previously with such materials to make electromechanic pieces like the Forbidden Fruit Machine and As Light Goes By, both of which were inspired by paintings. For Fungiversum, the staring point were images of fungi, as I really enjoy walking in forests and learning about mushrooms. The fungal illustrations that I used are from the Biodiversity Heritage Library. The great diversity and peculiar forms of mushrooms inspired me to create a fungi universe, combining the illustrations with the spectacular astronomical images from NASA. Please see this document for detailed info regarding the sources.

To animate the fungi, I used two DC motors with gear boxes from Robotti’s material collection. The motors were combined with simple mechanical parts in order to create different kinds of movements. LEDs and switches made of aluminium foil and nuts were also used to create interruptions in the movement and light. For the structural and mechanical parts I chose materials, which are relatively easy to obtain and work with. Also, the internet holds loads of DIY tutorials related to simple automatons and moving machines. I tried to include similar materials, so that variations  of the mechanisms – with or without electronics – could be made based on these resources.

Robotti is currently working on the learning materials and they’ll be available in Finnish later in spring 2022. The entire project is called “Elektronisen rakentamisen oppimisen polku” and it is funded by the Finnish National Agency for Education.

I thank Roi Ruuskanen and Iiro Tujula from Art & Craft School Robotti for the nice collaboration and the opportunity to take part in the project.

Fungiversum (Sieniversumi in Finnish) is a little machine made for Art & Craft School Robotti. Robotti is a Finnish non-profit association, which provides activities for children that encourage creative exploration of technology through art. I’ve collaborated earlier with Robotti and made the Call the Forest installation for a children’s touring exhibition. In the current project, Robotti is working on providing inspirational learning materials for art teachers in collaboration with artists who work with technology.

When I was asked to create a small electronic art project in the DIY spirit, I thought it would be great to include some open archival materials in the work. There are lots of wonderful archival materials available online, which are in the public domain or otherwise available for reuse. I’ve worked previously with such materials to make electromechanic pieces like the Forbidden Fruit Machine and As Light Goes By, both of which were inspired by paintings. For Fungiversum, the staring point were images of fungi, as I really enjoy walking in forests and learning about mushrooms. The fungal illustrations that I used are from the Biodiversity Heritage Library. The great diversity and peculiar forms of mushrooms inspired me to create a fungi universe, combining the illustrations with the spectacular astronomical images from NASA. Please see this document for detailed info regarding the sources.

To animate the fungi, I used two DC motors with gear boxes from Robotti’s material collection. The motors were combined with simple mechanical parts in order to create different kinds of movements. LEDs and switches made of aluminium foil and nuts were also used to create interruptions in the movement and light. For the structural and mechanical parts I chose materials, which are relatively easy to obtain and work with. Also, the internet holds loads of DIY tutorials related to simple automatons and moving machines. I tried to include similar materials, so that variations  of the mechanisms – with or without electronics – could be made based on these resources.

Robotti is currently working on the learning materials and they’ll be available in Finnish later in spring 2022. The entire project is called “Elektronisen rakentamisen oppimisen polku” and it is funded by the Finnish National Agency for Education.

I thank Roi Ruuskanen and Iiro Tujula from Art & Craft School Robotti for the nice collaboration and the opportunity to take part in the project.