Lehrende und MitarbeiterInnen
Strecker, Lucie wiss. Mitarb. MMag.
|Ausstellungen / Aufführungen
|We have long been aware that industrial imperatives result in an exploitation of nature’s commons, however we do not thoroughly
analyse how the familiar nature-culture dichotomy has turned into a nature-money dichotomy.
As artists we are, like the consumers of our art, involved in a monetary art industry. How might we as artists use cultures’
commons to reflect on an economy based on nature’s commons? How might we create unexpected connections between the other-than-human
and our own economic dilemma?
We do artistic research on these questions creating live economic experiments with microbes from our guts. We chose gut fungi
for several reasons. They are mutually accustomed to humans. They mediate between the human central nervous system and the
surrounding ecosystems. Finally, bred fungi in general are sensitive to exploitative domestication: their metabolism and
sexual reproduction resists industrial profit-making.
In our experiment we relate our gut fungi in real-time to the valuations of our work at the art market. First we use smear
tests to harvest fungi from our gut. Fungi in an onstage breeding bioreactor are then fed by our stressed performance audience’s
sweat. We then interface these fungi in a loop with our market data. In switching back and forth between metabolic and sexual
states, fungi make decisions with elaborate ecological risk-taking, with both the market data and the fungi exchanging information
and mutually learning from each other during the performance.
In order to juxtapose the complicity of classification, animation and monetary valuation in our performance, we invite a web-streamed
shaman to comment on our experiment. The way she earmarks our fungi as a previously human species contrasts the informational
codes assigned by us to the fungi with a spiritual essence. Her rituals restructure the dichotomy of the wild and the domesticated
and cushion the pervasive danger of excluding the invaluable/unclassifiable by speciation.
Through the metabolic life-and-death game, the artists gut fungi perform art valuation processes as ‘second nature’. This
derivative further alienates monetary valuations’ alienation to natural resources, making the strangeness of life’s pricing
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||Palais of Arts - CairoTronica 2018, Kairo (Österreich)