MR.BIG live-streamed screenshots, July 10, 2021 and August 8, 2024
MR. BIG was a durational exhibition made in collaboration with Verticale artist-run center in Laval, Quebec during the summer of 2021. The exhibition comprised of growing a large scale, 6 ft by 8 ft SCOBY (Symbiotic Culture Of Bacterial Yeast) over the duration of a month and a half in the center's storage unit. The growth was live-streamed to Youtube, and embedded on Verticale's website where there was also a chat (chat archive).
The final performance was opened by a talk with Dr. Abdulhameed Saleh Hussein Al Ghabkari (McGill), who spoke about the biological composition of SCOBY as well as the application of its composition within the biomedical industry (see bacterial cellulose in tissue engineering).
The SCOBY was subsequently put into a large-scale bucket and moved out of the space, a Bluetooth speaker played classical music within the bucket during transit to Bizard Island (see Interlude video below). At Bizard island, MR.BIG was unraveled and fed to a flock of mature chickens. MR.BIG was a bit tough for the chickens, and so he was processed by a lawnmower, at the recommendation of experimental farm consultant Benoit Girard (AgroNova).
The entire event was live-streamed by means of a GoPro to the same webpage as the growth, first from the perspective of myself, as I moved MR.BIG out of the tank, then from the perspective of MR.BIG in the bucket in transit, then to angles among and around the chickens.
Special thanks to the team at Verticale artist run-center for help in the production and funding, to Bronson Smillie for production and performance assistance, to Pascale Theoret-Groulx for technical help, to Benoit Girard for providing the farm, animals, and suggestions, to Miron and Andrea Hlywa for help with building the enclosure, to Gerard Ortín Castellví for helping with the live stream, to Alexis Bellavance for documentation and to Dr. Abdulhameed Saleh Hussein Al Ghabkari for the talk.
Part 1, Excerpt of GoPro live streamed footage from performance
Photos thanks to Alexis Bellavance
Part 2, Excerpt of GoPro livestreamed footage from performance, driving to Bizard island with Baroque music
Part 3, Excerpt of GoPro livestreamed footage from performance, chickens eating SCOBY
Part 4, Excerpt of footage from lawnmower destruction