from groves to grooves at SODAS2123

Rethinking alive as material

Rūta Spelskytė (LT)


The toolkit is designed to rethink alive as material. To think of the ways we can use nature, create tools out of it, imagine or train plant and animal features, construct their development in the future, and on the other hand – how to take a moment to stop and just appreciate it.

The toolkit includes:

Dactylopius coccus also called cochineal bugs or E21 were used as a red pigment by the Aztecs as early as the 10th century and they are still used today.
Pyrocystis lunula is bioluminescent marine algae that emits blue light when disturbed.

Kombucha SCOBY (symbiotic colony of bacteria and yeast) can be used to brew drink and also as leathery paper material when dried.
Fungus Chlorociboria aeruginascens causes a special discoloration in wood by producing the blue-green pigment xylindein. It was used by the artists in the 15th century and there are attempts by the veneer industry to make the coloring process a mass production. Chlorociboria aeruginascens also is said to be bioluminescent.

Desmodium gyrans is the dancing plant. By singing or playing music at its early stages of growing you can develop a wider range of leaf movements for the plant compared to those grown in silence.

The workshops are planned online in November. For more information and preregistration refer to


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Rūta Spelskytė (LT)
Rūta Spelskytė has a Ph.D. in art with a special interest in misunderstandings and failures of human dialogue and interrelations between science and extro-science fiction worlds unaccessed by our instruments and the pattern of thought. She works with rare specimens, emission of light and pigments, imagining future alchemy, plants, animals, the relativity of time and sense of speed.