Self-Initiated 2010

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Physical decay and physical death are natural processes, without which there could be no new life. On the contrary, traditional existentialism focuses on how people make sense of life in the shadow of death. Aiming to question such attitude, ‘Bodies of Change’ dives into a research about the realm of fungi and about their fundamental importance in the environment with regard to decomposition and transformation of organic substrates and the resultant cycling of elements.

How could we make use of fungi’s activity and knowledge as a guidance for gaining a better understanding of the cyclicity of every existing thing, including ourselves?

The direct collaboration with mycologists becomes the base from which to explore the potential of recent scientific discoveries related to fungi, and open up both scientific and cultural subjects and contents, otherwise out of a reach to a general audience.

 

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The Mycelium Shroud

If we are no longer dressing for life, what are we dressing for?

Consisting of a hand-made felt shroud inoculated with fungal mycelia from the species Schizophyllum commune, this design project comes as a direct challenge to the general attitude of denial, that most of the traditional burial practices tend to enhance, aside from harming the environment and wasting energy.

The shroud’s action contributes to favour the decomposition process of the body, while collecting and neutralizing toxic elements stored within the organism and distributing the different nutrient supply harvested from the body, to surrounding life forms.

Through this process, ‘Bodies of Change’ aims to explore and demistify the feelings of denial and anxiety, related to the acceptance of the loss of a beloved one, by transporting the process of decomposition of human remains to a more natural level, through an ecological, cyclical re-connection with our changing environment.

 


Download Thesis DAE – 2010