MycoMythologies: Patterning


Prototype draft for acquiring permit from World Networks Entanglement:

“Infrastructural node in the World Networks Entanglement provides an epigenetic environment for mushroom Hericium erinaceus. As an offering human healer patternist Hericium donated her blood, sweat and tears to braid contamination, dosing it slowly into a fungal environment. Not to shock, but nurture, negotiate and form xeno-patterns in the central pattern of the Entanglement Flow. Contamination always elludes control and so does the node in question, however there is a wish to include and collaborate. A wish was built in the node to produce cartographies of contamination collaboration with the integrated mapping device: collecting micrographs of contamination, charting maps and building ever evolving and transforming Atlas of Collaborative Contamination. All this to outline relations, to allow the stories of multiplicities to emerge, to develop caring methods of connecting and entangling, to finally be able to navigate patterns of intra- and interspecies complexities. ”

Once the draft was scribbled Hericium started to wonder how we will ever learn to be many and diverse. Who knows. For her it was time to start prototyping the machine for cartographies of fungi-human ecologies. Permit or no permit, she sensed in the Flow that the world had a need.



MycoMythologies:Patterning is an installation which captures growing fungal landscape which is contaminated by the human microbiom – bacteria, fungi and archea derived from the blood, sweat and tears of the artist – with a microscope and analyzed by computer vision, rendered on three screens where they are mapped, sonified and collected into a database. The installation questions if we can see ourselves as entangled rather than sovereign, reflecting on contamination as productive exchange between different life forms.



MycoMythologies: Patterning, 2021
Saša Spačal

Programming, mapping: Matic Potočnik
Sound, software design: Pim Boreel
Microbiology, technical support: Mirjan Švagelj
Sincere thanks: Toby Kiers, Loreto Oyarte Galvez, Malin Klein
Photographs: Marthe Vos, Saša Spačal

Production and support: Zone2Source, Projekt Atol, Toby Kiers Laboratory at Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam
Support: Ministry of Culture of Republic of Slovenia and Municipality of Ljubljana

MycoMythologies series expresses deep admiration for the wisdom, work and legacy of Lion’s Mane Hericium erinaceus, Octavia E. Butler, Oyster mushroom Pleurotus ostreatus and Ursula K. Le Guin.


Ars Electronica Starts Prize Nomination 2021


Solo Exhibitions
MycoMythologies, Culture Center Tobačna 001, Museum and City Galleries of Ljubljana, Ljubljana, Slovenia [Oct. – Dec. 2021]
MycoMythologies, Biotroja – Center for Composting Culture, GHMP – Galerie hlavního města Prahy / Prague City Gallery with Prague City University, Prague, Czech Republic [July 2021]

Group Exhibition
Re:Tune Exhibition, curator Alice Smits, Zone2Source, Amsterdam, Netherlands [March – May, 2021]


Saša Spačal


Projekt Atol
Amsterdam Fonds voor Kunst
Dr. Toby Kiers Laboratory
Ecology department
Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam