Lecture & Workshop
Lynch | Gut feelings
18 June, 2017, 2-6PM (in English)
Photograph to the left: Matthias Reichelt/ Photograph
to the right: Florian Denzin
As part of her ongoing research Alanna Lynch has been growing
the microorganisms that produce kombucha tea. Through the process
of fermentation this symbiotic colony of bacteria and yeasts (SCOBY)
produces a cellulose material that is slimy and smells strongly
while wet and can be dried and used as a textile. However, Lynch's
interest in working with this life form goes beyond the material
properties. Throughout this research Lynch has been actively consuming
the microorganisms by drinking the tea. Given that about half of
the cells in the human body are bacterial cells and acknowledging
the microbiome-gut-brain axis whereby bacteria in the gut have been
shown to effect the mind, how people think, feel and even behave,
bacteria can be seen as radical in the potential it has to challenge
categories such as subject/object, mind/body and human/non-human.
Lynch presents her research in the form of a performative lecture
and workshop, a format that reflects the interdisciplinarity
of the content. She discusses theoretical issues including notions
of subjectivity and agency while serving the kombucha drink to participants.
In this way they become physically implicated in the work. The lecture
not only presents facts and ideas but make use of a strong affective
dimension. The workshop explores the aesthetic and sensory properties
of the SCOBY in a hands-on session that will get wet and messy.
A strong focus in the performance is on the smell and the substance
in relation to our bodies, both inside and out. At the end participants
get a sample to take home, where they can continue to grow it on
their own, making the substance literally contagious.
Lynch (CA/DE), a performance artist working with organisms,
textiles and research, draws on a varied background in biology,
psychology and activism. Her work explores how affects, in particular
those associated with feelings of fear and disgust, are constructed
and the aesthetics surrounding them. She holds a BA in Psychology
from Queens University in Kingston, Canada, a BFA from Concordia
University in Montreal, a Master of Library and Information Studies
from McGill University in Montreal and an MFA from Valand Academy
in Gothenburg. She has exhibited and performed internationally and
recent awards include the Eric Ericson Foundation Grant (2015, Sweden)
and the Goldrausch Künstlerinnenprojekt Scholarship (2016).
She is currently a visiting lecturer at Kunsthochschule Weißensee
and a member of the collective Smell Lab.
photos(c) Tim Deussen/ Studio Deussen
the generous support of: