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13-1

Mycogenesis

2021, fungi, bacteria, yeast, agar, glass, epoxy resin, iron sculpture, 200 × 155 × 200 cm

13-2

Vita·Necro·Vita

2021, symbiotic culture of bacteria and yeast grown over 5 weeks on keemun tea, iron, acrylic, water, clamps, hoist, 300 × 90 × 40 cm

13-3

Feral Fetish

2021, single channel video with sound, 9min






We find ourselves in times where power structures and hierarchies which place Humans above and separated from Nature no longer suffice, opening up to possibilities of re-negotiating our relationship to Nature. Mycogenesis is a living installation co-created by fungi, yeasts and bacteria that highlights nature’s intelligence. The glass sculptures of different brains, seeds and organs are host to microbes from biotech laboratories and the local environment that grow as hyphae into rhizome mycelial networks as if they were nerve endings or synapses. The work questions what intelligence is and where it is located beyond the human perspective of reason, rationality and the mind towards sensuous, embodied, relational knowledge and asks us to reflect on the other species and microbiomes we share our bodies and existence with in holobiont relationships such as in the gut brain axis. Rather than a tree as a symbol for life and evolution with dead ends and a central passageway, could the future be inspired by the philosophy of fungal networks and intelligence? Can fungi guide us towards a new beginning of decentered, entangled, queer, relational co-evolved polyphonic futures with other than human species? Can fungi help to bring us out of Humanist ideologies into affirmative speculative futures of the unknown?
⠀⠀⠀ Vita·Necro·Vita translates to Life · Death · Life in a blend of Latin and Greek, which points towards Eurocentric Humanism that has defined a reductive and divided structural understanding of what is ‘Human’ and what is ‘Life’. The series consists of a living Symbiotic Culture Of Bacteria and Yeast (SCOBY) which transforms over the course of the exhibition in an intra-action between industrial materials and its ecosystem, speculating a future in which biology, industry and technology meet and reminding us that all things are co-evolved. At ARKO Art Center, a dried SCOBY is hung by an industrial chain hoist, into an aquarium with water. Raised and lowered throughout the exhibition as a flag, the dried scoby becomes re-hydrated as a porous membrane in a flow and cycle of life, death, life. Instead of putting emphasis on static archives, the work emphasizes life’s constant entanglement and evolution, blurring the border zones between what is living and not living. As a flag, the work speculates and celebrates a posthumanist, entangled, generative relationship with nature, and asks us to think with and not against death towards relational futures.
⠀⠀⠀ This excerpt from the film Feral Fetish seeks to challenge our relationship to Nature and our concepts of what is ‘Natural’ and what is ‘Normal’. The main character of the film is a Symbiotic Culture Of Bacteria and Yeast (SCOBY), that represents a fluid, transcorporeal future and exists in various landscapes that are normally perceived as pure and natural. In fetishized landscapes, the SCOBY encounters different people, bodies and animals, documenting their reactions, meetings and relations to the SCOBY. Through these interactions, the film seeks to lift the veil of the romanticised narrative we tell ourselves of pure nature and asks; What is more strange, the uncanny membrane of bacteria and yeast and the dominatrix or the straight linear trees of a plantation, green grass lawns and humans constant pursuit to control and steer nature for industry? How do we deeply grapple with our impact on other than human species in order to affirmatively participate in world building?

Studio ThinkingHand is an art duo formed by Rhoda Ting (b. 1985, AUS) and Mikkel Dahlin Bojesen (b. 1988, DK) currently based in Copenhagen, Denmark. Their works focus on methods of listening, relating and co-creating with other than human species such as fungi, bacteria, ecosystems as well as, synthetic life such as soft robotics, making visible stories, intelligences, and life beyond the human gaze. Bringing together science, technology and industry, their work investigates speculative futures, and explores philosophies that can move us collectively and affirmatively beyond the anthropocene. Drawing inspiration from contemporary disciplines such as queer ecology, posthumanism and vitalist materialism, they seek to apply and revise ways in which humans participate in a dynamic web of planetary interconnectedness. They imagine a future of co-evolution, queer futurity and adaptability in which we look towards borderzones and relationality, challenging human exceptionalism and reductive notions of binary categorisations between Nature and Culture, the organic and the synthetic and the pure and feral.