The Fern Room:

I’m sitting here in the Fern Room in the Lincoln Park Conservatory. There’s this sound installation by artist C. Lavender. They are using different frequencies to bounce ambient sound around to create an asymmetric acoustic effect throughout the room. The sound is pulling at you from different directions as it paces the room. It reminds me a of the calmer part of Aphex Twin.

I’m sitting across from a 200 year old tree, surrounded by prehistoric reanimated ferns. Looking at the intense biological system that is the equivalent of an international botanical orgy.

This room reminds me of all the good memories in my life:

  • Seeing Chicago for the first time when I was child.

  • Gaining a new perspective of everything at Burning Man.

  • My grandmother’s aging hands and wrist-watch.

  • Riding motorcycles in Malaysia.

  • Smoking weed in Shanghai to the Drive movie soundtrack.

  • The lines of Nazca.

  • The lushness of Mt. Saint Helens.

  • Notating my nephew’s red cheeks when he was born.

  • The pines of Canada.

  • Watching a humpback whale jump in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean.

  • Doing Tai Chi over a lily-pond in a monastery in Zaoxi, China.

  • The hills of Africa.

  • The green grass of Oxford.

  • The endless nights raving in Chicago.

  • The greenery of my mother’s home.

  • The incredible heat of the equator.

  • Flying over Siberia.

  • Falling in love.

I never want to leave this room..

-Austin James