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SINK/SYMBIOSIS:  Mushroom Sinks and more fun stuff. project video thumbnail
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Heading to a research lab to grow and build acoustic mushroom sinks, as well as a public performance-photo documentary.

Heading to a research lab to grow and build acoustic mushroom sinks, as well as a public performance-photo documentary. Read More
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This project's funding goal was not reached on June 23, 2012.

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About this project

Once upon a time, there were two artists who decided to build a very large sink.  

On a fine summer day in South Seattle, 2010, Josie Davis and Alan Strathmann met.  They decided that it would be interesting to build a larger-than-life acoustic sink.  They also talked about how to grow a fungus on Josie's face without having an asthma attack. Then Josie moved to Argentina.  Then she moved back.  Now Josie and Alan are taking their cross-continental collaboration to the next level during a residency at the University of Washington Marine Laboratories at Friday Harbor where they will build, grow and document gallery models and public performances as part of SINK and SYMBIOSIS, supported in part by Ecovative Design and Columbia College Chicago.  


We are building a series of large sinks as models for larger, more widely accessible installations.  We are using mycelium as our primary material which means the work will be biodegradable and one of a kind in their design, aesthetic appeal, and function.  

12 months ago we connected with Ecovative Design - a small but quickly advancing design firm in Albany, New York, that is manufacturing packaging materials and household products out of mushroom substrate.  The question became, What if we could grow sinks - without losing the utilitarian and functional appeal - out of mycelium?  How do you make mushrooms resonate?  


Additionally,we will document - as photography and video - the ongoing performance and relationship between Josie and the growth of a fungus on her body. This project addresses a range of questions in regard to human-nonhuman organism interactivity, and the extension of the body as a component of these experiences.  

We recently spent the day taking plaster gauze molds of Josie's torso and face.  We will apply a thin agar growth medium to the molds, used for the cultivation of fungus. We will document the growth as the molds are applied to Josie as a public performance.   


Our vision for creating both of these projects is finally coming to fruition.  From what began as a year-long thread of emails, skype calls, and rough sketches between Chicago and Argentina has now led to a full fledged endeavor with support from Universities and start-ups alike!  

Our partnership with Ecovative Design was solidified by an in-person visit to their manufacturing plant this April where we were given a behind-the-scenes tour of their production facilities and new product development divisions!  The design team is eager to work with us now and in the future – and we are excited to be involved with such talented and creative folks! 

We’ve received faculty grant support from Columbia College Chicago which will be used to purchase the bulk of our mycelium:  approximately 40 cubic feet of substrate which will be shipped in to us during our 6 week residency at the Friday Harbor Marine Laboratories, University of Washington.   We head out on May 15! 

We're talking with galleries and sites who have expressed an interest in exhibiting these projects and have spent the past 6 months polishing our designs for small scale prototype models that will effectively contribute toward the production of large scale works later this year. 

We are making sample molds - faucets, dish bowls, plumbing - at home with mycelium substrate from Ecovative using Grow-it-yourself kits, giving us a taste of how we will handle the material in larger quantities.  

We recently joined up with Renee Prisble (Mold Making and Casting Chicago) for an afternoon to cast plaster molds of Josie's torso and face, along with a few other body parts, which will be shipped out to Friday Harbor.  


We need your help building and documenting our models and performance - so that you can experience these projects for yourself!  We need $5,000 to build and document both projects, and to cover the cost of our residency where we will be doing most of the work this spring.  

Our residency at Friday Harbor Laboratories will provide us with invaluable studio time and lab resources for constructing the proper sterile growing environment for Josie's body-fungus molds; as well as the space to design and construct life size models of SINK; we will be able to research and document each project and make the necessary adjustments for a larger scale work.  

Symbiosis will be documented through photography and video as a public performance in and around Friday Harbor, Washington.  We're planning to install and exhibit both projects in Chicago and NYC to gain publicity and feedback as we plan for the real thing.  

We hope that you'll donate to our efforts to make functional, innovative, and performative art.  You can visit us online for updates and photos, and please help us out by donating to our kickstarter campaign - every dollar counts!  


We're a collaborative partnership established in 2010.  Working with digital media, sound, biomaterials, performance, flat-art and fabrication, The Collected Works of Davis & Strathmann is the summation of work exploring relationships, and biological and cultural phenomena through these various mediums.   

Alan Strathmannis a practicing artist and educator whose work has been exhibited in the U.S. and Asia including the Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum and the Onggi Expo in Ulsan, South Korea.  Alan currently holds faculty positions at Columbia College Chicago and the School of the Art Institute of Chicago.

Josie E. Davis is a practicing artist and educator whose work in sound, public art, and performance has appeared in the U.S. and abroad including Buenos Aires, New York City, Edinburgh, Seattle, and Skopje, Macedonia.  She is the Editor of the PLOP! Review and is based in Chicago, IL.   



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  1. Select this reward

    Pledge $5 or more
    About $5 USD

    3 backers

    SYMBIOTIC SUPPORT! // endless gratitude and your name listed on our contributions webpage; personalized updates on the project!

    Estimated delivery:
  2. Select this reward

    Pledge $10 or more
    About $10 USD

    6 backers

    Two biodegradable mycelium magnets handcrafted by yours truly // plus all the love from above!

    Estimated delivery:
  3. Select this reward

    Pledge $25 or more
    About $25 USD

    4 backers

    *SUPER REWARD* A set of four mycelium coasters: share the wealth! plus, public gratitude and personalized video updates on the project!

    Estimated delivery:
  4. Select this reward

    Pledge $50 or more
    About $50 USD

    0 backers

    Limited Edition 4 x 6 photo print from "Symbiosis", plus a very special thank you note with mycelium magnets from the artists. Snail mail! Just you wait ...

    Estimated delivery:
  5. Select this reward

    Pledge $100 or more
    About $100 USD

    2 backers

    Limited Edition 8x11 archived photo print from "Symbiosis", plus a handful of mycelium magnets to share with friends!

    Estimated delivery:
  6. Select this reward

    Pledge $250 or more
    About $250 USD

    1 backer

    Receive 3 hours of personalized lesson time in one of the following // Audio Production // Photography // Voice Coaching // Piano Lessons // Editing Services //////

    And don't forget your own, 11x14 archival print photograph with a personalized dedication from yours truly!

    Estimated delivery:
  7. Select this reward

    Pledge $500 or more
    About $500 USD

    0 backers

    Because you are amazing, we're sending you some of everything above. Your choice of one of the lessons above, along with an 8 x 11 archival print photograph, a four-set of coasters, magnets, and endless online love!

    Estimated delivery:
  8. Select this reward

    Pledge $1,000 or more
    About $1,000 USD

    0 backers

    Super Sinkin'!
    We'll send you everything above, plus create you a personalized 20" 3-D mycelium model of SINK. How's that for personality?

    Estimated delivery:
  9. Select this reward

    Pledge $2,500 or more
    About $2,500 USD

    0 backers

    Official partnership with the Collected Works. Limited edition 11 x 14 gallery print of "Symbiosis" with a hand crafted mycelium frame and wall mount, along a 20" 3-D mycelium model of SINK, a private dinner with the artists, and your name or company logo attached to the front page of our website. Obviously you're great - the awesomest!

    Estimated delivery:

Funding period

- (45 days)