The artist has explored the global underground ecosystem of mycorrhizal fungi (“Wood Wide Web”) by creating a metaphorical digital twin for it. The installation merges 3D-printed ceramic sculptures, mycorrhizal data sonification and fungal knowledge. Work engages the audience in an artistic exploration of fungal communities and their symbiotic relationships while advocating for their protection.

The soundscape is inspired by the polyphonic chant “Song For Gathering Mushrooms” sung by the women of the Aka people (an indigenous community, residing primarily in the Congo Basin of Central Africa). Song is reshaped by biogeographical data of the mycorrhizal network. 

The “Fungi Oracle” is an AI trained on scientific literature from the mycorrhizal dataset. It is fine-tuned with quotes from renowned books like “Let’s Become Fungal”, “Entangled Life” and “Ways of Being”. Oracle synthesises teachings about the mycorrhizal ecosystem, illuminating how symbiotic ideologies and insights from the non-human world can inspire human society.

Mycorrhizal research: Maarja Öpik, Tanel Vahter

FUNGI is funded by S+T+ARTS Project Grin and Wild Bits at Maajaam in the framework of European Capital Of Culture Tartu 2024.

Supported by
Schemerlicht Festival and Audio Ag, RME

Marco Barotti is a media artist. His work is driven by a desire to invent an artistic language in which a fictional post-futurist era is expressed through kinetic sound interventions in natural and urban environments. The primary focus of his work is to create a “tech ecosystem” that plays with resemblances to animals and plants.

Marco Barotti webpage
Marco Barotti Instagram

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Photos by Epp Kubu