MycoMythologies: The Myth of Rupture

KiBela/MMC KIBLA, Ulica kneza Koclja 9, Maribor
09 – 30 October 2020

MycoMythologies

MycoMythological machines were assembled to tap into the underground flow while the nutrients poured out of it, along with the numerous stories. No matter where the flow was sampled, there the stories were, flowing out of the mycelium network together with the much needed nutrients. There were many whispers, among which some stories seemed the same as they trickled out of the hyphae in chunks and pieces. They were almost like a repetitive mantra that loops and loops even though they were never completely the same. There were always glitches and differences as if they had been assembled again and again like some sort of a distant memory of the murmuring machine.

The Myth of Rupture

The microscopic node in the World Networks Entanglement freshly programmed with the Fungal Network Traits Protocol* experienced a peculiar overflow of sonic data. The sound in the laboratory filled the space with one single sentence computed by the Entanglement and repeatedly uttered by the machine. As more and more data poured into the machine, the more intense and distinct the voices became: »We can’t return
to normal because the normal that we had was precisely the problem.« The feeling was that of an emergency; numerous languages and voices were finally detected circulating in the Flow. From the depths of the previously mute and unheard underground, the machine clearly conveyed messages that their world was broken. The rupture was clearly deep and entangled as it spanned several planes that had kept the voices invisible and quiet for too long.

The conclusion was that the machine got overloaded while computing the immensity of the breach across the feedback looping entanglements of the planetary networks. In order for the World Networks Entanglement to compute itself again with the included newly detected voices, it was necessary to implement The Word for World Is Flow Protocol, which allowed for the permeability of categories such as human, gender, nature, individual, history, culture, society. Serious work needs to be done.

*The Fungal Network Traits Protocol of unevenly distributed particles was developed in collaboration with fungal agents, which performed their decision-making processes. The dataset of decisions was then fed into the protocol, which became known as the Protocol of the Forgotten.

MycoMythologies is a series of ontogenetic mythological stories, video essays and machines conceived by Saša Spačal. The series researches the multilayered question of how mushrooms can help humans think about the possibilities of entangled life in capitalist ruins. As a speculative artistic research, MycoMythologies thinks not only about how fungal underground networks can inform humans, but also about how technologies tend to define the teachings that humans receive.

Colophon

MycoMythologies: The Myth of Rupture, 2020
Saša Spačal

Programming, computer vision: Matic Potočnik
Sound, software design: Pim Boreel
Microbiology, technical support: Mirjan Švagelj
Video Footage: Tilen Sepič
Mycelium micrographs, technical support: Toby Kiers Laboratory [Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam]
Kindly lent voices: Polona Torkar, Verena Friedrich, Regine Rapp, Susana Gómez Larrañaga, Hiroaki Fujiwara, Jooyoung Oh, Pim Boreel, Saša Spačal, Hiroaki, Anneta Mona Chisa, Monica Clare Mills, Vivian Xu, Dmitry Morozov
Sincere thanks: Toby Kiers, Loreto Oyarte Galvez, Malin Klein
Production and support: KID Kibla, Projekt Atol, Amsterdams Fonds voor de
Kunst, Toby Kiers Laboratory at Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, PIFcamp.

Support: Ministry of Culture of Republic of Slovenia and Municipality of Maribor.

Bio

Saša Spačal is a postmedia artist working at the intersection of living systems research, contemporary and sound art. Her work focuses primarily on the posthuman condition, where human beings exist and act as one of many elements in the ecosystem and not as sovereigns. Therefore abandoning the Cartesian system of classification and accepting the fact that the field of technology has expanded not only from hardware to software but also to wetware resulting in hybrid phenomena inscribed in mechanical, digital and organic logic.
Her work was exhibited and performed at venues and festivals such as Ars Electronica Festival (AT), Prix Cube Exhibition (FR), Transmediale Festival (DE), Athens Digital Arts Festival (GR), Perm Museum of Contemporary Art (RUS), Onassis Cultural Center Athens (GR), Chronos Art Center (CHN), Eyebeam (USA), Cynetart Festival (DE), National Art Museum of China (CHN), Museum of Contemporary Art Metelkova (SI), Kapelica Gallery (SI), Device_art (CRO), Art Laboratory Berlin (DE), Kiblix Festival (SI), Gallery of Contemporary Art Celje (SI), Museum of Contemporary Art Vojvodina (SRB), Lisboa Soa Festival (PT), Sonica Festival (SI). Her works received awards and nominations at Prix Ars Electronica, Ars Electronica Starts Prize, Japan Media Art Award, Prix Cube, New Technology Art Award and New Aesthetica Prize.

Saša Spačal