Remember the transience of life and the vanity of earthly pursuits. Cook for the community.
Thank you, Mikko Gaestel, for the invaluable filmmaking support; Ian Hands-Portman, for microscopy; and Filip Setmanuk and Vanda Skácalová, for 3D animation. Throat singing by Arjopa, as recorded in Berlin by Ville Haimala.
In her audiovisual pieces, sculptures, and performances, Jenna Sutela (b. 1983) seeks to override aspects of culture based on a survival-of-the-fittest narrative in favor of symbiotic relationships among different life forms, both organic and synthetic. Sutela’s work has featured, as co-creators, the single-celled yet “many-headed” species of slime mold Physarum polycephalum; a symbiotic colony of bacteria and yeast in a kombucha tea ferment; and the bacterium Bacillus subtilis nattō. The artist has also worked with artificial neural networks.
Recent exhibitions include the 13th Shanghai Biennale: Bodies of Water; the Liverpool Biennial 2021: The Stomach and the Port; NO NO NSE NSE, a solo show at the Kunsthall Trondheim that traveled in modified form to the Oslo Kunstforening; and Mud Muses: A Rant About Technology, at the Moderna Museet, Stockholm, which included a co-commission with Serpentine Galleries. Sutela has been a Visiting Artist at the MIT Center for Art, Science & Technology (CAST) since 2019. She lives and works in Berlin and Finland.