Xylophage is a sculpture of destruction and rebirth. A colossal tree met catastrophe, long ago, and the remains have given rise to a grove of giant fungi.

The centerpiece of the installation is the remnant of the massive tree trunk, standing 20′ high and 20’ across. A line of pulsing fire traces the jagged top, flaring as we enter the space within. An ethereal “firefall” trickles down shelf fungus growing on the outside of the tree, gathering in a basin within the roots. Two splits in the stump reveal its hollow interior, where benches along the inner wall makes for cozy seats under the open sky, subtle rumbling is heard from below. Groups of small mushrooms grow along the inside wall above heads, fire rolling within the caps, radiating warmth and light.

 Five mushrooms surround the giant stump. Two are similar, wide stumps twisting towards and away from each other. Their massive caps contain a, undulating fire effect, rich waves of fire roiling in the gills. Increases of fire are activated by people pushing buttons on smaller mushrooms arrayed around the stem.

Smaller, delicate looking mushrooms light up with colorful LEDs nestled in within the gills. An alien looking mushroom emanates strange sounds, changed as people touch the stalk of the mushrooms. The parabolic surface above head further distorts the sounds from the mushroom as well as human voices, creating a disorienting environment.

The dimensions of Xylophage’s footprint can be adapted to be site specific. The separate sculptures can be shown in a variety of combinations and iterations.

Show history:

Burning Man NV, 2013

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