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Live Active Cultures

Seth takes a dive in Live Active Cultures

Photo: MikeLothrop, License: N/A


Every work might not work, but the point is for artists to have a place to experiment, so I’m thrilled Orlando has an ongoing opportunity like this again. If I were to offer advice for improvement, I’d like a moderator to introduce the works and facilitate a dialoguebetween the artists and audience afterward. Because what’s the point of getting all these folks together, if not feedback?




Orlando artist Doug Rhodehamel is widely known for turning other people’s trash into art-installation treasure; thanks to his Spore Project, paper-bag mushrooms have popped up on every continent, including Antarctica. But his latest project takes things to a whole new level – as in below sea level. Aquapodica involves hundreds of small plastic water bottles, filled with glow sticks and adorned with tendril-like six-pack rings.

Last Saturday night, the creatures were set loose in the backyard swimming pool of Shane Valentine for a private exhibition. Arriving around 11 p.m., I donned a pair of swim goggles, all the better to see with underwater, and dove into the bathtub-warm water. Thanks to differing amounts of ballast, some of the glowing jellyfaux floated just below the surface, while others lingered near the bottom. Diving below among the faintly shimmering sea life with DJ Nigel John’sspacey soundtrack echoing in my ears was an exquisitely trippy experience – at least until I breathed in a lungful of chlorine. Back on shore, chatting over pina coladas with other invitees, all I could think was: It’s the end of the economic world as we know it, and I feel fine.

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