2019 WCS artist, Jackie Hoysted talking about her winning submission at the CyberWire's 6th Annual Women in Cyber Security Reception, Thursday, October 24, 2019, at the International Spy Museum in Washington, DC.
Dave Bittner: [00:00:06;18] Joining me up here is going to be Amy Cavanaugh. She is from the Maryland Art Place and she is going to introduce our artist. So I'm going to just turn it over to Amy.
Amy Cavanaugh: [00:00:30;14] I'm very honored to be here. This is the sixth year that my organization Maryland Art Place, which is located in Baltimore City, has participated in the Creating Connections Call. We call Maryland Art Place MAP, it's a five story building in downtown Baltimore that serves myriad artists, fashion designers and visual arts. But we we started out primarily with visual artists in 1981. We're one of the oldest visual art organizations in the state of Maryland. So, please check out Maryland Art Place website for exhibitions next time you're in Baltimore.
Amy Cavanaugh: [00:01:04;20] But moving forward in our sixth year, I would like to first thank Peter Kilpe and Jen Eiben for inviting and believing in creativity and the arts and how they play a role in everything we do in business. It's very important. Thank you.
Amy Cavanaugh: [00:01:32;10] So, tonight I'm going to introduce Jackie Hoysted. She was born in Dublin and is based in Montgomery County. She's an award winning inter-disciplinary artist, curator and activist. She has had solo exhibitions across the United States and has been featured in the Washington Post, Washington City Paper, Huffington Post, Pittsburgh Tribune and the list goes on. She's a DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities Award winner. She is the founder of Art Watch, a DC artist collective, focused on positive political activist that realize the One House Project, a collaboration of 300 DMV artists standing up for equity and inclusion. Additionally she is a curator for the DC organization Solas Nua, that focuses on presenting contemporary art. Come on up Jackie.
Jackie Hoysted: [00:02:38;19] First of all I'd like to say thank you very much to CyberWire and to MAP, this is a wonderful program. In another life I actually have a degree in computer science from Trinity College, Dublin. So, I was a programmer for a very long time and that's how I came to live here... so, I'm very appreciative of anything that has touches on the intersection between art, technology and science. So thank you so much.
Jackie Hoysted: [00:03:21;12] This time last year, I was on an artist residency on the South West Coast of Ireland and if any of you are Star Wars fans, if you saw the Last Jedi, you have Luke Skywalker hanging out on a rock in the Atlantic Ocean. So, I was living in a pre-famine cottage over-looking that rock that was about ten miles out in the ocean. The place had no Internet and no TV, so I brought some reading to do and I was doing some drawings while I was there. The reading material I brought with me was about climate change, Alzheimers and artificial intelligence because all of these things affect me personally and also make me worry about kind of future we're going to live in and how we might adapt to that.
Jackie Hoysted: [00:04:14;05] They seemed unrelated it was just books I had amassed and I did not even think I would do a project on them. But actually I did start to do some drawings of what man might look like in the future with artificial intelligence with antenna, stuff like that, and no need for legs or anything. But they did not work out.
Jackie Hoysted: [00:04:35;17] So, I came back and I was depressed because I wasn't happy with the work that I had done. But I bumped into an art professor in George Mason University and we happened to be talking about a piece of art work that is a form of philosophy which is object-orientated ontology. I was complaining about how difficult the books were to read and understand. She said to try the women writers and she recommended a book called The Mushroom at the End of the World and it's by an author and anthropologist called Anna Tsing.
Jackie Hoysted: [00:05:12;21] That book actually transformed how I think about things and what I work on now. The book is about a very prized mushroom that originated in Japan called the matsutake and it introduced me to this world of fungi. The mushroom is the fruit of the fungi and mycelium is the vegetative part which is invisible to us, it's underneath the world. If you have a plant that's struggling you might see white things growing around. But basically it's this amazing network that's underground and it connects the invisible world underneath to the visible world that we see. One mycelium mash might cover acres of land and it's how the trees communicate in the forest. It will send nutrients to plants that are struggling and it absorbs CO2. It's capable of eating plastic and if you wanted to have a bio-funeral you could have a mycelium suit made and be buried in it and become compost which is a really positive thing to do.
Jackie Hoysted: [00:06:40;06] So this is where I'm working now and this is what all the work is about. The current sub-body of work that I'm working on at the moment is called Inspired by Spores and the artwork that we have here this evening is really the underneath part of the mushroom. You have some that have gills and other ones have spores. So I'm just playing with that idea of how all these spores make up a universe and how they're creating this universe below us. But really it's a reflection of our own lives too, how our lives are intertwined together and how we must have a more symbiotic relationship with the planet, with what we produce, and everything else.