Mick Lorusso

 Mick Lorusso was in-residence at PLAND to create and present Micro-Macro Transfer Points as part of ISEA2012 Albuquerque: Machine Wilderness. During his residency, Mick continued his practice of looking to ecological, practical issues that address human necessities  –  such as renewable energy  –  asking, “What happens when we no longer have electricity? What other kinds of energy are there – physical, mental, spiritual, social? How do we tap into and fuel such energies without over-exploiting?” The project included a human-powered adobe/papercrete mixer which included a secondhand bicycle, found metal, cooler axle and bearings, volcanic rocks of Tres Piedras, a glass window, and, of course, paper pulp from donated library books. Mick also created a found-object sculptural installation, manual, and other interpretive “points of transfer.”

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Mickser Molly of Tres Piedras

Mick came to PLAND through the ISEA2012 call for applications which included exhibition opportunities, a new experience for all involved. Mick took incredible initiative during his residency, building working relationships within the close-knit community of Tres Piedras in order to enrich his time at PLAND and to complete his projects.

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Mick Lorusso working on Mickser Molly

Mick was open to all that the mesa has to offer  and found ways to fill in the gaps when resources were lacking. He seemed to find magic in the most mundane of activities.

“I think of the nights at PLAND when I would awake and see the crisp stars above me, or the intensely radiant waxing moon that accompanied me on my stay. One evening when the moon was totally full, I went to relieve myself on the humaure compost pile and found myself facing the silhouette of a giant owl perched on the highest pole of the shade structure. We stared at each other for a long moment, and as I turned to walk away, the owl silently flew around me and the trailer, which was a sublimely hair-raising sensation.”

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Testing Mickser Molly

For his ISEA2012 Micro-Macro Transfer Points project statement, Mick wrote:

“A Micro-Macro Transfer Point can be classified as any object, moment, being, energy or idea that connects the invisibly small with the incredibly large. While at PLAND, a residency program without electricity or running water, I began to see almost everything as such Micro-Macro Transfer Points, including my eyes and nostrils, the cistern that captured roof drainage, rainbows over the landscape, the anthills scattered throughout the sagebrush, and especially my bike-powered papercrete mixer. I designed the mixer (dubbed ‘Mickser Molly of Tres Piedras’) in response to PLAND’s request for an efficient off-the-grid way of mixing papercrete, a combination of paper pulp and concrete, for their ongoing main house construction. The project acted as a nexus of social energies, first when the organizations Vega Vision and BICAS in Tucson, AZ generously helped me assemble Mickser Molly with on-the-grid tools before my residency began. Once I arrived, the owners of the Chili Line Depot (the only restaurant in Tres Piedras) kindly provided access to their welder and grinder so that I could finish the mixer locally. While contributing to a practical need for shelter, the project also reiterates an ecological perspective that both PLAND and I share: nothing is waste. From composting humanure for a garden – to pulping up discarded books for house walls, what is often unwanted has the potential to be transformed into material of great value. Special thanks to BICAS and Vega Vision (Tucson, AZ) and Chili Line Depot (Tres Piedras, NM).”

Mick Lorusso

Mick Lorusso is an Italian-American artist who is open to voices of the non-human world, so that he may become a better communicator of those voices in relation to humanity. In his artwork, he focuses on the development of new ways to imagine energy and see it flow from the microscopic to the galactic scale. He integrates science, mysticism, ecology, and community into his work, which includes drawing, sculpture, printmaking and urban intervention. His recent projects range from large-scale murals to interactive works to using bacteria as electrical current.

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