Mycophone Unison (SI)



Responsive installation: electronics, sound, and biological material

Saša Spačal, Mirjan Švagelj, Anil Podgornik (SI)


‘We are of the universe—there is no inside, no outside. There is only intra-acting from within and as part of the world in its becoming.’ —Karen Barad, Meeting the Universe Halfway

Matter as such is always defined by a point of view, but what if the body of the viewer is no longer only one? Ecological communities of microorganisms such as bacteria, fungi, and archaea that constitute the microbiome of human bodies indicate the plurality of a human body that can no longer be seen as one but as many, as multiple. Multiplicity of body does not act as one, each biological entity has it’s own role that is enacted in collaboration with others or on it’s own. Enactment defines and activates entities needed for completing the act that the environment calls for. At that moment the body emerges in intra-acting with the environment, at that moment the body becomes and is perceived as one, however its entities are always multiple and never the same in the next intra-act. Oneness of the body as such emerges only in the specific spacetime, where it intra-acts and than dissolves into multiplicity that awaits its new becoming.

Mycophone_unison in the spacetime of multiplicities serves as a navigation tool. A sound map of intra-action between three microbiomes of the bodies of its authors and the viewer. By pressing a fingerprint the viewer sends a signal to the map that processes it through the central celestial plate to the microbiomes that modulate it as a sound of unison. The multiplicities of the authors are heard as one for one brief moment in the here and now.

Mycophone_unison was produced by Multimedia Center KIBLA and funded by the Republic of Slovenia Ministry of Culture.


Artist Bio:

Saša Spačal is a media artist with a background in the humanities and is currently working at the intersection of bioart, media art, graphic design, and real-time interactive visualization. Her responsive and interactive installations have been presented at numerous international exhibitions and festivals. In collaboration with various art producers such as Kapelica Gallery, Multimedia Center Kibla and Ljudmila—Art and Science Laboratory, she is developing media installations and other interfaces by connecting technological and biological organisms. Her work focuses primarily on the posthuman period, when 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 grown and expanded not only from hardware to software but also to wetware resulting in hybrid phenomena inscribed in mechanical, digital and organic logic. Mirjan Švagelj, biomedicine PhD, and Anil Podgornik have been working on Mycophone_genus project since 2012.