Iterations and Improvisation: an Interview with MSHR

Screenshot from Instance Terrain Crawler, 2021

MSHR is a duo composed of Brenna Murphy and Birch Cooper. Whether it stands for “Material Sentience Habitat Ring,” “Meshing Sexual Hypno Room”, “Mental Synthesizing House Renderer”, or any other combination, the modulor acronym MSHR (pronounced mesher) is designed to allow for flexibility and change over time. 

The acronym seems aptly fitting; the two continuously highlight their evolution and modularity all the while acknowledging the influence of past encounters – like that of Oregon Painting Society, the five-person collective they were both initially a part of. In 2011, the two chose to operate as a duo (or what they refer to as “self-transforming entity”) and have recently celebrated a decade of commitment and collaboration.

Between the two is a massive technical skillset, manual dexterity, and some sort of tribal knowledge, granting them the luxury of bouncing their cybernetic experimentations comfortably across formats: installations, videos, live improvisations, web art. MSHR seem particularly keen on building things from scratch – like their modular synthesisers – either to achieve sonic precision or to tap into their own ideal of audiovisual perfection in light-audio feedback loops and circuitry. 

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