Make Change Conference @ Toronto Media Arts Centre

I will be holding a workshop discussing and demonstrating Midi Bio-Sonification Sunday, November 18, 2018

Receive a 20% discount on your ticket into the conference using the following code: MAKERFF

Directions on how to get to TMAC can be found here>   Hope to see you there! 

Myndlistaskólinn í Reykjavík – The Reykjavik School of Visual Arts

Þriðjudaginn 30. október bjóða Leirlistafélag Íslands og Myndlistaskólinn í Reykjavík uppá opinn fyrirlestur þar sem listakonan Tosca Teran talar um verk sín og vinnuaðferðir.

Í októbermánuði hefur Tosca verið á vinnustofu leirlistafélagsins þar sem hún gerir tilraunir með leirbrennsluaðferðina Obvara. Þar notar hún íslensk hráefni til þess að búa til gerblöndu sem myndar áferð á yfirborð leirsins þegar honum er dýft heitum ofan í blönduna. Obvara, einnig þekkt sem ,,Baltic raku”, á uppruna sinn að rekja til Austur Evrópu (Hvíta-Rússland, Eistland og Lettland) á 12. öld.

Tosca vinnur einnig að spennandi vekefnum innan ,,bio-sonification” þar sem hún býr meðal annars til tónlist með örverum og blek úr sveppum.
Nánari upplýsingar um listakonuna er að finna á vefsíðu hennar –

Fyrirlesturinn verður haldinn í fyrirlestrasal Myndlistaskólans, 3. hæð, þriðjudaginn 30. október klukkan 17:00-18:30.

Fyrirlesturinn fer fram á ensku og eru allir velkomnir.

Obvara – Ceramics – Bio-Sonification – Music – Experiments

On Tuesday October 30 an open lecture by Tosca Teran will be held at the Reykjavik School of Visual Arts in cooperation with the Icelandic Ceramics Union.

Tosca Teran, aka Nanotopia, is a Toronto based multidisciplinary artist. Born in San Francisco, California, Tosca relocated to Canada in 2001. Working with metals, computer coding, and animation since the mid-eighties, Tosca was introduced to glass as an artistic medium in 2004. Through developing bodies of work incorporating metal, glass, and electronics, Tosca has been awarded scholarships at The Corning Museum of Glass, Pilchuck Glass School and The Penland School of Crafts. Her work has been featured at SOFA New York, Culture Canada, Metalsmith Magazine, The Toronto Design Exchange, and the Memphis Metal Museum. Most recently, Tosca has been awarded residencies at Gullkistan Centre for Creativity, Nes artist residency Iceland, The Association of Icelandic Visual Artists and the Ayatana SciArt Research Program in Ottawa. Tosca founded nanopod: Hybrid Studio maker space in 2005. Continually exploring new materials and tools, Tosca started collaborating artistically with Algae, Physarum polycephalum, and Mycelium in 2016, translating biodata from non-human organisms into music.

The lecture will be held in english and is open to all.

100 pounds of Mycelium!

Ecovative GIY Artist Spotlight:

Ecovative’s interview took place during an artist residency in Iceland where I was working with (amongst other things) Ecovative’s GIY materials.

The next installation and performance I will be working with over 100 pounds of Mycelium!

The bulk of the Mycelium will be grown from more of Ecovative’s GIY material as well as the following -Edible- grow blocks from Wylie Mycologicals :

Pleurotus citrinopileatus, the golden oyster mushroom (tamogitake in Japanese)








The super gorgeous, Pleurotus djamor, commonly known as the pink oyster mushroom.







Pleurotus ostreatus, the oyster mushroom, is a common edible mushroom.






Hericium erinaceus (also called lion’s mane mushroom, monkey head mushroom,[1] bearded tooth mushroom, satyr’s beard, bearded hedgehog mushroom, pom pom mushroom, or bearded tooth fungus) is an edible and medicinal mushroom belonging to the tooth fungus group.





The lingzhi mushroom is a species complex that encompasses several fungal species of the genus Ganoderma, most commonly the closely related species Ganoderma lucidum, Ganoderma tsugae, and Ganoderma lingzhi. For centuries, G. lingzhi has been used in traditional Chinese medicine for its medicinal properties.





And from Fungi Perfecti (Paul Stamets!)

This fascinating variant of the Reishi mushroom (Ganoderma lucidum s.l.) produces long, tendril-like mushrooms or “antlers” that grow slowly within the sealed environment of the spawn bag that envelops it. The resulting forest of fungi can be harvested for tea, or allowed to dry as a spectacular piece of natural sculpture.
I intend to sculpt with all of the grow blocks and just wait to see what happens! Will the Mycelium fruit? WIll the sculptures burst out in all directions and these amazing mushrooms appear?


The other day I heard from Fungi Perfecti HQ who wrote me the following:

“…I really enjoy your Midi Mycellium.
May the spores be with you!
Mush love,
The Fungi Perfecti Customer Service Team”
I like to imagine Paul Stamets himself wrote that!

Meanwhile, workshops are scheduled for September working with Ecovative substrate and workshops are currently being scheduled to build your own BIO SONIFICATION MODULE! I will be teaching anyone interested how-to start collaborating with nature through Bio-Sonification! I am super excited to share these kits. The Bio-Module kits will include the circuit board, components, DIY enclosures, Arduino code and more! Keep your eyes peeled on my workshop schedules and/or subscribe to the Studio newsletter/mailing list thing.
These upcoming workshops will be taking place in nanopod’s second location called, Baba Yaga Collective. Located at 906 Queen Street West.

I would like to thank the Canada Arts Council for their generous support towards my research in renewable, bio-sculpting materials.
“Enriching the lives of Canadians by supporting a vital and diverse arts sector”
• We acknowledge the support of the Canada Council for the Arts, which last year invested $153 million to bring the arts to Canadians throughout the country.
• Nous remercions le Conseil des arts du Canada de son soutien. L’an dernier, le Conseil a investi 153 millions de dollars pour mettre de l’art dans la vie des Canadiennes et des Canadiens de tout le pays.

As well as the generous support of the Ontario Arts Council towards my further bacterial and yeast experiements:

Weird Science!

Looking for renewable, sustainable, bio-sculpting materials.

Researching lichen, moss and Mycelium during my residency in Iceland.
Which I intend to continue when I return to Toronto.
Other materials I have been growing are Scobys, which have proven a little tricky here (in Iceland). Perhaps this is due to the ingredients I’ve used. I’ve been unable to locate a really strong Kombucha to add to a Scoby base, in order to speed up the process. Over the month of June, I managed to grow a thin Scoby. As it is drying, however, it is proving to be too thin and fragile.

Scoby stretched out to dry.

Meanwhile, the Mycelium continues to grow. Up at Nes artist residency I started a Hexagon shape, which is now fruiting! Saturday evening I recorded the Biodata and uploaded these sounds to Soundcloud:

It’s not the greatest mix-down, but my equipment here is limited.
Something I am anxious to get started on is Bio-filament. Last year (I think it was last year?) I participated in a 3D printer workshop at Interaccess in order to gain access to their printers. Interaccess is a membership based New Media Maker’s space in Toronto. They have a lot of tools and equipment available for use and they also offer interesting workshops. Anyways, at the time I inquired with the Tech manager there if DIY filament was allowed as I intend to experiment and explore possibilities with soil, Scoby material and Mycelium! They said YES! So, now is as good a time as any. I’ve been researching various Extruder kits and fully assembled versions available. This is the one I went with: The Felfil EVO
Many reasons I went with the Evo. For one this baby can travel with me! So, I can play with Algae next time I return to Iceland or a coastal town.
Then something amazing happened. I received an email notification from the Canada Arts Council congratulating me on receiving a grant proposal I had sent in back in February. The Canada Council Arts Abroad program, this funding will assist me moving forward. Iceland is expensive!
Then Kai Parthy founder/experimenter over at Lay Filaments said, “…send me what diameter your 3D printer uses and I will send you a bunch of GrowLay to experiement with, on the house!” WOW!
GrowLay is made for growing Mycelium, moulds, bacteria, plants onto/into 3D printed sculptures!

Now the question is: How large can I print on the UltiMaker? I plan to divide my models into sections in order to create life size renderings and I still intend to work with Ecovative’s sculpting nutrient. Which is also waiting for me to return home!

I would like to thank the Canada Arts Council for their generous support towards my research in renewable, bio-sculpting materials.
“Enriching the lives of Canadians by supporting a vital and diverse arts sector”
• We acknowledge the support of the Canada Council for the Arts, which last year invested $153 million to bring the arts to Canadians throughout the country.
• Nous remercions le Conseil des arts du Canada de son soutien. L’an dernier, le Conseil a investi 153 millions de dollars pour mettre de l’art dans la vie des Canadiennes et des Canadiens de tout le pays.

Niceland v6.0

More of a Blog post:

In the words of Alyssa Edwards, ‘Back back back again!’ I arrived in Iceland May 29th, headed up to NES artist residency June 1st to participate in their 10th anniversary celebrations. Myself and 8 other alumni were invited to teach workshops, host performances and installations for the month of June.

Goofs: Emma, Nicole Shaver, Bert, Kerryn (co-director), Jérérmy, Sophie Gee aka Nervous Hunter)

According to Vicky O’Shae the NES board of directors invited me exclusively. My time up in Skagaströnd was essentially to teach a 4 week Metal + Glass course to locals. Which I did! And it was super fun, super great people/students!
Goal: return to teach more, start-up a studio similar to nanopod: Hybrid Studio back in Toronto. oh yeah, I am still in Iceland. Only now I am back in Laugarvatn at Gullkistan Centre for Creativity. 🙂 A bit of my own personal alumni celebration.
In my class were:
Gunnur and Erna (sadly not in this pic)

LtoR: Kristín, Gu∂laug, Almar, some weirdo, Elsa w/her happy boots, Jóhanna. xoxo

They rocked it!

Even though I packed up 2 large suitcases weighing over 100lbs there were still missing items. I won’t lie some aspects of teaching the course were very challenging simply in locating alternatives. But I now know how to make my own ferric chloride- which is waaay stronger than what I can easily purchase in Toronto. The class learned how to torch fire vitreous enamel, etch copper/brass using PNP blue paper and oil paint sharpies, cast metal using cuttlefish bone as a mould. Form rings, solder (sweat, joint), fold-form a la Charles Lewton-Brain. My biggest take away was how resilient the students were and their Go for it! attitude. We had a torch literally explode fire all over me (no one was burnt or hurt!) and we all remained patient with our English to Icelandic translations and Icelandic to English. I LOVED my time with these people. 🙂
Back at M3 (where I lived for June) I resided with artists, Ron Linn and Jérémy Pailler. Extreme Gentlemen these two. Amazing artists. We discovered that we are all leos, too. Born within the same week (years apart, tho ;p). Haha… yeah.
Quietly I grew Mycelium in my bedroom closet. :p and later in the month several artists allowed me to record their bio-sonifications. Everyone was very different (naturally) and interestingly I found their ‘sounds’ fit their practice. Artist and NES intern, Georgia Bates conducted an interview of me recording Kerryn McMurdo’s bio-rhythms. Kerryn is a co-director at NES and dancer/performer.

Ron Linn

Danielle Rante

Artsit/intern: Ed Lawrenson

Some of their sounds are up on Sound Cloud/Nanotopia and throughout my time here I will continue uploading various flora along with the Mycelium, which is still growing and has travelled with me to Laugarvatn! XO

Tosca would like to thank the Canada Arts Council for their generous support towards her research in renewable, bio-sculpting materials.
“Enriching the lives of Canadians by supporting a vital and diverse arts sector”
• We acknowledge the support of the Canada Council for the Arts, which last year invested $153 million to bring the arts to Canadians throughout the country.
• Nous remercions le Conseil des arts du Canada de son soutien. L’an dernier, le Conseil a investi 153 millions de dollars pour mettre de l’art dans la vie des Canadiennes et des Canadiens de tout le pays.

Nanotopia & the Mycelium Network • translating biodata from non-human organisms into music.

Recording live through-out the afternoon to broadcast that night on our Midnight Mushroom Music Podcast! Tune-in! Come visit us and experience interspecies communication!

Saturday, May 12th 2018 11am to 4pm only! 100 St. George Street, UofT- Room 1070 in the Sidney Smith Hall



Mycelial Music: Midi Bio-sonification experiments.

Super excited to share the following.

Yesterday I was finally and at last able to solder the battery pack to my JST connector.

Very carefully, very gently I placed bio medical pads onto the Mycelium. I’ve been caring and growing this Mycelium for several weeks now, see here for details on that. The Mycelium has grown off the flax substrate, creating long, rubbery mushroom-like, fleshy arms. They are soft.

Mycelium midi bio sonification.
First experiments placing electrodes onto mycelium, which send impulses that are converted to Midi. This Midi data is then plugged into AniMoog. Mycelium Music.

The Mycelium likes it dark. I recorded affects by shining a UV light into the Mycelium (it DID NOT like this light), and LED light. Later I found the Mycelium grew increasingly active in the dark and more glitchy in the light.


Waking up early this morning, Sunday April 8, I wondered what sounds might my Turnip plant might make…? I purchased these beautiful, organic turnips last week that starts sprouting leaves. I carefully removed the leaves by cutting off the top, just below them and placed this into a small jar of water. I wasn’t sure if they would thrive and grow, or die off. They live! A couple days later I added a Spider plant leaf with root attachment, into the Turnip jar.

Please take a peek and a listen. Like and subscribe to my Youtube channel- all of this helps towards further experimentation!


Thanks so much 🙂

Monophonic Moss Piglet

So, I got this idea into my head (years back) where I wanted to hear soil, fungus, non-human sounds. I want to collaborate with these organisms and sounds. This started more ventures into electronics, and moooore workshops at Interaccess, creating sensors and later working with slime mould.

This week I got excited over a little circuit I stumbled upon off Andreas Siagian’s blog. Which is essentially this here,

So, based off of Andrea’s circuit I thought I would make one of my own, as well as draw up my own design. I biked over to Creatroninc, bought all the parts and made this:

Admittedly nervous about the surface mount soldering.. I put the little piggy together. Here are some images showing part of the process.

etched board

Parts listed on Github

CMOS cd4093, 100nf capacitor, Peizo buzzer, LED, 9v battery snap…

Ok so, I soldered everything down and……..

The LED works. Those 2 little pads in the upper right, when touched are suppose to make the oscillator oscillate – which is currently (haha) not happening. I have checked all connections, solder points = nada. So, I took this buzzer off to see if it even worked- it does. Soldered down another and still = nope. No sounds.

Do I lack capacitance?! What am I missing here?

Meanwhile, here is the image I altered to fit my drawing/traces.

Did I make my sensor pads too small?

Regardless, I learned a lot putting this together. 1. I need to make this work. 🙂

Anyone out there with any advice or suggestions as to what might be going wrong here, please comment below. Thanks for looking.

10% Human

 In May 2018 I will be installing work for the Science Rendezvous, Toronto!
An iteration of Wonderlandish.
This version of Wonderlandish will be comprised of glass sculptures depicting Human interactions with various flora and fauna microbiota. Entering into Wonderlandish visitors will see artistic renderings of scientific data depicting life-size versions of the organisms mentioned above. A live, VR component will allow visitors to interact with microbiota on display.

Spirillum Bacteria Cells of a marine spirillum bacteria stained with Cyber Green and viewed at 1,000x magnification under a light microscope. Courtesy of

Users are depicted as their microbial self

Users interact with other microbial organisms; plant, animal, air pollution, etc.

We are literally writhing with microbes. The air is full of microbes- good and bad.

The concept is to bring the invisible into view. What we mediate or cannot see and what we cannot hear.

I imagine the experience as very organic.   All of it makes me consider how connected we are with our environment yet, how human beings* seemingly strive to distance themselves from this reality. So much so that we are now in peril of destroying the shared environment.

I conjecture that since we are apparently *only 10% human (what does that even mean?) That we are transferring and transforming microbial clouds. Perhaps held together by frequencies on a sub atomic level, in order to experience this existence (life) the Human aspect has chosen to mediate these layers of reality…?

“Image courtesy of the Lewis Lab at Northeastern University. Image created by Anthony D’Onofrio, William H. Fowle, Eric J. Stewart and Kim Lewis.”

I am working with artist/musician, Andrei Gravelle. Senior technical manager of Tiff Bell Lightbox.

Game developer, Chris Tihor of Ironic Iconic Studios 

and various scientists towards visual representations of various microbiota.


A natural community of bacteria growing on a single grain of sand. The sand was collected from intertidal sediment on a beach near Boston, MA in September 2008 and imaged using a Scanning Electron Microscope (SEM).  “Image courtesy of the Lewis Lab at Northeastern University. Image created by Anthony D’Onofrio, William H. Fowle, Eric J. Stewart & Kim Lewis.”



Creative Explorations of the Microscopic


From the complex forms of the cell to the colonies created by the microbiota; from the undetectable chemical reactions activated by enzymes and natural processes to the environmental information captured through data visualization, the five artists presenting tonight have developed a range of very diverse practices all inspired by the invisible, the undetectable and the microscopic.

We invite you to an evening of artist talks and discussion on the creative process of exploring the microscopic and using living organisms in art, on its potentials and implication for science and its popular dissemination, as well as on its ethics.

Robyn Crouch
Mellissa Fisher
Julia Krolik
Shavon Madden
Tosca Teran

Friday, Feb 9, 2018
6:00-8:00 pm
The Fields Institute
222 College Street, rm 230 – Toronto, ON

The Event will be followed by workshops with: 
Mellissa Fisher, Shavon Madden and Julia Krolik
Saturday, Feb. 10, 2018
at Hacklab
1266 Queen St West, Toronto
Workshops are FREE to the public & require you to RSVP your attendance, here

Workshops include:

Design My Microbiome

Artist Mellissa Fisher invites participants to mould parts of her body in agar to create their own microbial version of her, alongside producing their own microbial portrait with painting techniques.

Cooking with the Invasive

Artist Shavon Madden invites participants to discuss invasive species like garlic mustard and cook invasive species whilst exploring, do species which we define and brand as invasive simply have no benefits?

Intoduction to Biological Staining

Artist & Scientist Julia Krolik invites participants to learn about 3 different types of biological staining and have a chance to try staining procedures.


Mellissa Fisher
Mellissa Fisher is a British Bio Artist based in Kent. Her practice explores the invisible world on our skin by using living organisms and by creating sculptures made with agar to show the public what the surface of our skin really looks like. She is best known for her work with bacteria and works extensively with collaborators in microbiology and immunology. She has exhibited an installation “Microbial Me” with Professor Mark Clements and Dr Richard Harvey at The Eden Project for their permanent exhibition “The Invisible You: The Human Microbiome”.The installation included a living portrait in bacteria of the artists face as well as a time-lapse film of the sculpture growing.

Julia Krolik
Julia Krolik is a creative director, entrepreneur, scientist and award-winning artist. Her diverse background enables a rare cross-disciplinary empathy, and she continuously advocates for both art and science through several initiatives. Julia is the founder of Art the Science, a non-profit organization dedicated to facilitating artist residencies in scientific research laboratories to foster Canadian science-art culture and expand scientific knowledge communication to benefit the public. Through her consulting agency Pixels and Plans, Julia works with private and public organizations, helping them with strategy, data visualization and knowledge mobilization, often utilizing creative technology and skills-transfer workshops.

Shavon Madden
Shavon Madden is a Brampton based artist, specializing in sculptural, performance and installation based work exploring the social injustices inflicted on the environment and its creatures. Her work focuses on challenging social-environmental and political ethics, through the embodied experience and feelings of self. She graduated from the University of Toronto Specializing in Art and Art History, along with studies in Environmental Science and will be on her way to Edinburgh for her MFA. Shavon has had works shown at Shelly Peterson, the Burlington Art Gallery and the Art Gallery of Mississauga, among many others. Website:


https_proxyThe ArtSci Salon

Organizer of From Cell to Canvas: Workshop

ArtSci Salon consists of a series of forums and presentations with a performative component facilitating discussion and cross-pollination between science, technology and the arts. ArtSci Salon responds to the recent expansion in the GTA of a community of scientists and interdisciplinary/media artists, increasingly seeking collaborations across fields to successfully accomplish their research projects and inquiries.