Solo-exhibition at Fraktal Waiting room
(Photos: Mette Lucca Jensen)
In recent years, there has been ground-breaking research into fungi, research which has shown both that fungi have a language and that they can potentially also become intelligent building blocks in our future homes.
Mycelium is the name for the thin root-like fibers from fungi that grows underground. Once dried, it can be used as a super-strong, water-, mold- and fire-proof building material that can be grown into specific shapes, reducing processing requirements. Right now, there are research projects that try to combine this building material with computer technology, so that the living mushrooms can constantly monitor the indoor climate of the house and communicate it to a computer, which then regulates the room temperature and humidity, so that the house is comfortable to be in.
But mushrooms can also communicate with each other. Studies have shown that mushrooms appear to talk to each other via electrical impulses through their mycelial threads. When the fungi attach themselves to the roots of a plant, they create a symbiotic relationship called Mycorrhiza. As is the case with other symbioses, both partners benefit from living together. In this case, the plant mainly receives mineral nutrition and water, while the fungus receives carbohydrates and vitamins from the plant. The mycelium network can stretch over several thousand kilometers and connect millions of trees and plants with each other. In 2001, this network was nicknamed the “Wood Wide Web” in analogy to the Internet's World Wide Web. Since then, research has demonstrated one astonishing discovery after another, which ultimately means that we must reevaluate our perception of what a forest and a tree are and how much we really know about nature's own communication network.
In the exhibition, I have used this knowledge as inspiration for a total installation, created site-specifically for the former waiting room at Skørping train station. The installation consists of a built wooden structure that mirrors the existing space. On the construction, carved wooden mushrooms "grows" and on the floor, soft tufted mushrooms stretch out like carpets. For the installation, I have also produced a sound piece that serves as a background for the exhibition. The sound produces a narrative, with the mycelium network as a contact-seeking being that so fervently wants to be heard. Combined with tones from our human technological communication platforms, a narrative is formed about our need to understand and be understood ourselves. At the same time, the tone of the voice changes, from the demanding, intrusive, to the almost seductively pleading, casting doubt on how well-intentioned the need for contact really is and what the message entails.
You can find the sound-piece HERE or by scanning this QR code
The exhibition is open every thursday or by appointment from Friday September 2nd - Sunday November 13th 2022.
Skørping Station, 9520 Skørping
The exhibition is supported by the Danish Arts Foundation
Thanks to The Danish Art Workshops for working residency and support