An installation detail from Psychotropic House: Zooetics Pavillion of Ballardian Technologies at the exhibition A Million Lines, Bunkier Sztuki Gallery of Contemporary Art, Krakow. Photo: Justyna Gryglewicz
The 32nd São Paulo Biennale, due to open on 10 September (until 10 December), will play host to an installation of objects created by an unusual “designer”: the vegetative fungus mycelium. Students and professors at ACT, the Art, Culture and Technology programme at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), grew the fungus—studied as an alternative to plastic—to create objects that aim to “consider the role of cross-species technologies and our interaction with them”, explains Laura Knott, the consulting curator of ACT. The result is the installation The Psychotropic House: Zooetics Pavilion of Ballardin Technologies, which will show the collaborative efforts of the academics (and the fungus) in a space created to resemble a laboratory. The installation expresses “the idea that humans are a part of this web of experience that includes living and non-living forms”, Knott says. During the exhibition, MIT and the Urbonas Studio, led by the ACT director Gediminas Urbonas and the research affiliate Nomeda Urbonas, will host a series of workshops that combine theory and practice.