Experimental Production


The MyCoBiont project involves a series of workshops where participants learn about the lifecycle of fungi, engaging in co-creative experimentation with various practical and speculative uses of fungi as a climate-friendly biomaterial. The project aims to provoke a reflective discussion about the more-than-human entanglements surrounding the life of fungi and catalyze a shift in human perception of non-human organisms that surround us: from their perception as materials or resources to be used exclusively for human benefits, towards organisms with which we co-exist.

Under the mentorship of different invited artists and experts, participants delve deep into the possible uses of fungi as organisms that provide a viable alternative to unsustainable materials such as plastics. Fungi may well represent a revolution in the field of new biomaterials and can be also seen as a live, widespread wetware that humans and art can interact with through signaling. The community gathered around MyCoBiont workshops and events – including students, permaculture and fungi enthusiasts, researchers, and designers – is invited to learn from artists and other professionals who have been working with mycelium in diverse experimental ways.

Gliva je nova njiva! (Image credit: Gobnjak)

The initial workshop in the series was led by Rok Zalar and Bojana Rudovič Žvanut from Gobnjak, an initiative for urban mushrooming and Kersnikova’s partner organization, introduced participants to the lifecycle of fungi and the basics of their nutrition and reproduction. Together with the skilled tutors, participants explored suitable substrates for mycelial growth and learned about the preparation and sterilization of vessels and microbial cultures suitable for fungi cultivation. They also built a mini cultivation chamber, providing suitable conditions for mycelium growth, and crafted their own moulds for mycelial bricks. Mycelium was further explored as a commonly-used material for food, packaging, and building material.

The first MyCoBiont workshop and crafting of moulds for mycelial bricks (image credit: Kersnikova)

The second workshop titled Radio Mycelium was led by the artist Martin Howse and focused on constructing a series of experimental situations examining a new wetware imaginary of fungal mycelium in relation to local, global, and universal electromagnetic signals. Participants built DIY radio receivers, tested the reception of signals, and further explored the connections between mycelium and deep space radio signals, noting simple parallels between the scaled formations of radio telescope arrays, and the arrayed forms of certain mushroom bodies.

At the third workshop Becoming-with Fungi led by artist Mary Maggic, participants explored the detoxifying properties of fungi, experimenting with an artistic household product that contains a xenoestrogen ingredient with hormone-mimicking and displacing properties. Those hormones were extracted with DIY techniques, mixed into a xenoestrogen cocktail, and fed to the Oyster mushroom which was then grown on Petri dishes and stained with Remazol blue, a synthetic fabric dye. Participants will check their growth over time to observe how the mushrooms metaphorically responded to the toxic residues of human industrial capitalism.

Becoming with Fungi workshop (image credit: Kersnikova).

Taro Knopp will lead the fifth co-creative session in January 2022. Together with participants, they will construct an installation consisting of one of his ‘mycelium globes’ – closed and self-sustaining eco-systems combining different locally extracted organic materials and organisms.

MyCoBiont will be concluded with the exhibition Sound for Fungi: Homage to Indeterminacy (January – February 2022), which will be led by artist Theresa Schubert. Her work includes an installation consisting of a generative video that simulates hyphae’s growth and via a hand tracking sensor allows people to interact with mycelium.