Saša Spačal: MycoMythologies

Troja Château Complex (former café)


free with a valid ticket to the Troja Château


16. 7. 2021 open only 5–6 pm
22. 7. 2021 closed

Prague City Gallery’s program Biotroja in collaboration with Prague City University present artist Saša Spačal.

In her immersive meditative biotechnological landscape of MycoMythologies, Spačal considers what the world of fungus could offer in terms of changes in the way we live. The information captured from the microscopic images of the mycelium is transformed by software processes into several interconnected screens and sound generative composition. MycoMythological artistic research explores how mushrooms and their underground networks could inform human species about behavioral practices of a deeper inclusion and caring.

This biotechnological installation consists of two parts – MycoMythologies: Rupture and MycoMythologies: Patterning and together, they represent two nodes of a currently dysfunctional mythological planetary institution – World Networks Entanglement. Mycocentric network in the installation MycoMythologies: Rupture indicates situations that could improve the present crisis. MycoMythologies: Patterning is an infrastructural node where the artist has used her own blood, sweat and tears as a catalyst for a dialogue with the mushroom ecosystem and draws sonified cartographies for the Atlas of Collaborative Contamination.

Planetary life is biotechnologically connected and stacked. In the underground flows of mycelial growth, in one of the infrastructures of the World Networks Entanglement several voices start uttering an urgent need: “We can’t return to normal because the normal that we had was precisely the problem.” As it is an act of multiplicity, the vocal gestures changes looping mythologies in the informational Flow of the mycoscopic node.

In another part of the Entanglement a prototype draft for acquiring a permit for a new node in the networks is being written by a healer patternist: “The infrastructural node in the World Networks Entanglement provides an epigenetic environment for the Hericium erinaceus mushroom. As an offering human healer patternist, Hericium donated her blood, sweat and tears to braid contamination, dosing it slowly into a fungal environment. Not to shock, but nurture, negotiate and form xeno-patterns in the central pattern of the Entanglement Flow. Contamination always eludes control and so does the node in question; however, there is a wish to include and collaborate. A wish that was built in the node to produce cartographies of contamination collaboration with an integrated mapping device: collecting micrographs of contamination, charting maps and building an ever evolving and transforming Atlas of Collaborative Contamination. All this to outline relations, to allow the stories of multiplicities to emerge, to develop caring methods of connecting and entangling, to finally be able to navigate patterns of intra- and inter-species complexities.”

Saša Spačal (SI) researches living systems at the intersection of contemporary and sound art. Her work focuses on entanglements of environment-culture continuum and planetary metabolisms by developing interfaces and relations with soil critters. She addresses the posthuman condition, which involves mechanical, digital and organic logic within biopolitics and necropolitics.

Her works were exhibited at venues such as Ars Electronica Festival (AT), National Art Museum of China (CHN), Perm Museum of Contemporary Art (RUS), Centre for Contemporary Art Barcelona (SP), Prix Cube (FR), Transmediale Festival (DE), Onassis Cultural Center Athens (GR), Museum of Contemporary Art Metelkova (SI). Her works received awards and nominations at Prix Ars Electronica (AT), Starts Prize (AT), Japan Media Art Award (JP), Prix Cube (FR), New Technology Art Award (BE) and New Aesthetica Prize (GB).

MycoMythologies: Rupture and Patterning (2020, 2021)
Artist: Saša Spačal
Programming, Computer Vision: Matic Potočnik
Sound, Software Design: Pim Boreel
Microbiology: Mirjan Švagelj
Construction: Scenart
Video Footage: Tilen Sepič
Mycelium Micrographs: Toby Kiers Laboratory (Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam)
Production and support: Projekt Atol, PIF Camp, ACE Kibla, Zone2Source, Ministry of Culture of Republic of Slovenia, Municipality of Ljubljana, Municipality of Maribor, Amsterdams Fonds voor de Kunst (AFK).

Exhibiton coordination team: Zuzana Pištěková and Miloš Vojtěchovský (Biotroja – Prague City Gallery), Branislava Kuburović (Prague City University)

MycoMythologies series expresses admiration for the work of Lion’s Mane Hericium erinaceus, Octavia E. Butler, Oyster mushroom Pleurotus ostreatus and Ursula K. Le Guin.