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The Ostoyae

As an artist, I wonder what kinds of paths we will take as we build these new human-machine futures. That is, as our communities diversify through new technological possibilities – will we be capable of applying techno-social lessons towards understanding our capacity to live and collaborate effectively? The Ostoyae is a new musical instrument developed with and for multi-species listening, working towards communication between myself, my AI named Chimere, and mushrooms.

My work proposes we might experiment with making music within a new trifecta that joins the human, machine and organic world as a new creative ecosystem.

The Ostoyae is named after one of the biggest and most ancient living beings on our planet, the Armillaria Ostoyae, a master at collective community flourishing. The Ostoyae instrument has been built so that you can try out this new future of diverse multi-species co-creation, future building, and creative thinking. You need not need consider yourself a musician, or musical in any way to play it. You, like every other agent within this multi-species musical ecosystem, are part of a project for experimentation and exploration.  One which comes with no pre-determined techniques, aesthetics or values, but rather simply a speculative question: how would you like to contribute in a diverse multi-species community?”

Below is an interview with Maria presenting instrument at the UNESCO week of sound in Edinburgh (2023) as part of the Diversifying Improvisiation Project led by Dr. Una MacGlone, of which this instrument was commisioned. 

A further video describing the building process is possible to view here shared by the Oram awards:

A link to the performance of the instrument can be viewed here:

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