Gestalt - An organised whole that is perceived as more than the sum of its parts



This project makes the most out of a void in my knowledge of music theory. In acceptance of my own mediocrity as a musician I have turned to microbiology: by inoculating and documenting the different growth patterns of Yeast, E. coli and Lichen via a large format enlarger (treating the Petri-dishes as photographic negatives). A bespoke grid system is then placed above a petri dish or a select microbial colony, enabling the transcription of growth patterns onto fully chromatic punch card strips to be fed into a mechanical music device such as a grinder organ or music box.



named after dendron - the Greek word for tree + tone is a project sharing the intent of 'sonic spores' - to sound gestalts generated from organic formations.


transfers and prints of the natural rhythms of timber grain were generated via sand blasting and in some cases scorching the exposed cross sections of timber. Both processes bite into the softer growth rings of the trees 'first season' of annual growth exposing the isolated, hardier second season of summer growth.


Selected prints were then laser cut onto strips of mechanical music paper and fed through a music box: enabling one to hear the natural rhythm of the timbers' growth pattern.




Punch card technology doesn't solely lend itself to automated mechanical music. Extensively put to use throughout the nineteenth century for dictating the woven patterns driven by textile looms. It wasn't until the turn of the century that punch cards were put to use in controlling grinder organs and other such mechanical music instruments.


In this approach I transcribed found textile patterns generated from knitting machines onto strips of mechanical music paper, giving fruit to repetitive, somewhat cacophonous weave patterns for the ear.



Passing a nine-volt current through a solution of Tin II Chloride, the chemical reaction results in the growth of dendritic crystals. These tiny limbs of Tin branch out from a cathode placed at one side of the dish housing the experiment, towards the anode situated to the opposite side of the dish. A current was passed through the same dish three times, one minuet every time and was photographically enlarged during interludes. The three photographs were then transcribed onto mechanical punch cards.