Experience ‘Orchidelirium’ at the Miami Beach Orchid Festival

Written By Gina Margillo
April 24, 2024 at 11:24 AM

The Orchid Music sound installation turns Orchid DNA into music. Photo credit Juraj Kojš.

The roughly 30,000 species of orchids that exist worldwide have generated fascination and wonder throughout history. One feature that defines the orchid, and adds to its mystery and beauty, is the fusion of the male portion of the flower (stamen) and female portion (pistil), into one structure (column), that protrudes from the center of the plant.

In traditional Chinese medicine, the orchid was used to help cure lung illnesses. The Aztecs drew strength from drinking a mixture of orchid flowers and chocolate, and the ancient Greeks considered orchids to be aphrodisiacs. In Victorian times, people were struck with Orchidelirium, a madness that drove people to obsessively discover and collect orchids from all over the world.

Today there is an entire culture around orchid cultivation and appreciation. You’ll have an opportunity to dive in and experience your version of orchid delirium at the Orchids & Arts Festival, May 4-5, 2024. Co-hosted by the Miami Beach Orchid Society, the Foundation for Emerging Technologies, and the Miami Beach Botanical Garden, the festival will create immersive opportunities to learn about and appreciate these rare and fascinating plants.

Miami-based artphibian Juraj Kojš has programmed and created a weekend of artistic surprises to ensure that we fall under the orchid’s spell. The Foundation for Emerging Technologies and Arts presents Orchid Adventure, a series of short music, dance and storytelling performance activations about the Florida native Butterfly Orchid, Encyclia Tampensis, featuring Kojš, Pioneer Winter Collective, Miami Sound Choir and Betzaida Ferrer.

Throughout the Botanical Gardens, visitors will experience several performances. For example, Orchid Music is a sound installation presenting sonifications of the DNA of 15 native Florida orchid species, by Kojš. The artist assigned a particular sonic world to each orchid, then created that world using a custom-made synthesizer, water, typewriters and clay pots, and speech.

The sounds intertwine into a chorale that depicts the orchid’s beauty, fragility, and power. There will be orchid-inspired music by The University of Miami’s Frost Electronic Music Ensemble, a meditative and educational Augmented Reality Installation on Israeli orchid species, by Rachel Joy Weiss, and a dance solo entitled, Million Orchid Seeds, by Andrea Labbee, among other activations.

Explore the art exhibits, educational sessions, and the vibrant market. Eight orchid vendors, including Soroa Orchids, Orchid Eros, and Quest Orchids, will offer a variety of species for purchase. You’ll also find orchid decor, creative orchid mounts, and clothing. Appreciate paintings of orchid varieties by artists El Gato Gomez, Mariana Kojšova, and others, that will be exhibited by the Harold Golen Gallery. Attend one of the lectures on orchid culture or brush up on your orchid cultivation with a talk on growing tips.

If you think you have a winning orchid at home, bring your orchid for judging. The orchid contest will be held at the Botanical Gardens, before the festival, on Thursday May 2, 2:00-4:00 PM and Friday, May 3, 11:00 AM-3:00 PM.

What: Miami Beach Orchid Festival 

Where: Miami Beach Botanical Garden, 2000 Convention Center Drive, Miami Beach, FL 33140

When: May 4-5, 2024 10:00 AM-4:00 PM

Cost: Ticket price is $5.

Tickets: Miami Beach Orchid Society is a nonprofit media source for the arts featuring fresh and original stories by writers dedicated to theater, dance, visual arts, film, music, and more. Don’t miss a story at

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