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Greenhouse
Exhibition view PSYCHOPROSA (Greenhouse), Galerie im Taxispalais, Innsbruck 2015

The exhibition PSYCHOPROSA employs biochemical processes as a means of artistic expression and creates an installation at the interface of art and a natural scientific experimental set-up. It transforms the rooms into a coherent ensemble of greenhouse, laboratory, cooling chamber and factory.
At the beginning we find a greenhouse in which algae and fungi are cultivated. These organic materials are pumped into glass sculptures, where a synthetic hallucinogen is generated through a chemical process: the resulting molecule is PSILAMIN, which has never occurred before in a natural context. The remaining biomass of the algae and fungi is a slimy material, which develops a viscous consistency after heating, cooling and mixing: thick threads and veils form transparent, liquid sculptures. If we were to consume the molecular sculpture PSILAMIN, solid objects would deliquesce and begin to flow in our perception. In this way the psychotropic effect of the hallucinogenic substance ‒ which the exhibition visitor does not experience but can only imagine ‒ is reflected in the exhibition as a real process.

The works in the greenhouse belong to the type ‘processual sculptures’. Algae and fungi grow in bioreactors, so that the basic components of the newly developed synthetic molecule psilamine can be extracted from them. In the sculptures, the green alga Chlorella vulgaris circulates in glass tubes and pipes, so being evenly exposed to the light it requires for photosynthesis and to encourage the cells to grow. Beyond the functional aspect, the sculptures are aesthetic hybrids combining laboratory apparatus, sculpture, standard lamp, and futuristic house plant.