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“Technology does not define the impact of technology on our ecosystem. Technology does not define the borders between natural and artificial, for it doesn’t exist as a distinct entity in the environment as a man made artifact. Technology is the environment and it exists symbiotically with it. Technology is the dynamic by which order may emerge from disorder. It is the wellspring of phenomena.
Technology is not simply a house, a village, a city or a parasite. On the contrary, technology is a flexible and dynamic bridge between order and disorder, between emptiness and something. Technology inscribed itself in the biological and nonbiological, in the intelligent and the unintelligent. Technology is neither weapon or bolt nor computer. It is the dynamic that allows, from disorder of thoughts, life, and nature, the emergence of machines, science, and computers.” – Ollivier Dyens, Metal and Flesh, MIT Press


Technology as stated above has it’s own logic of dealing with physical material but at the same time it’s vastness and complexity is becoming overwhelming to comprehend and understand, so it is becoming wild and chaotic, very much alive.
Mycophone_emergence is an invitation for you to become the explorer of the force of technology, to enter the realm where biological and non biological are no longer anything else but a type of material that technology as dynamic force deals with and manipulates through the hands of human beings.
By opening the Mycophone_emergence, a ‘biohacked’ music box, you can explore a new kind of biotech organism that makes sounds like many biological organisms do and if you pet it on its hairy mycelia fur it’s voice changes, it could be said that it starts to purr. As any other biological being it needs maintenance to exist and care to live to its highest potential.
And as any other organism it has patterns, repetitive processes, that have to be met for it to exists and to live. They are there to process the signal that has been put into the box with the energy from the windup key of the music box. These patterns are seen as visual, graphical patterns on the laminate that translates the signal and is heard as repetitive sound. The repetitions can be transformed by the biological part of the box, by the growth of mycelia as well as proximity or touch of a hand of the explorer, the carer of the Mycophone_emergence.

Mycophone_emergence, 2012
Saša Spačal, dr. Mirjan Švagelj, Anil Podgornik

Photos: Helena Božič.
Project website: Mycophone_emergence, Mycophone_genus
Production: Interactivos?’12 Ljubljana: Studiolab, Medialab-Prado, Ljudmila, SGMK.


Werkstatt am Hauptplatz, Linz, Austria [2013]
Enter 6: Biopolis, Prague, Czech [2013]
Device_art 4.013, Prague, Czech [2013]
Interactivos?’12, Ljubljana, Slovenia [2012] 

Saša Spačal
Mirjan Švagelj
Anil Podgornik

Ljudmila Ljubljana Digital Media Lab