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PARLIAMENT
PARLIAMENT, 2009
glass, myxomycete (Physarum ssp.), display case, 170 x 85 x 75 cm
biotechnological realisation: Thomas Seppi, Department of Radiotherapy and Radiooncology, Medical University of Innsbruck

The glass sculpture PARLIAMENT serves as a bioreactor in which myxomycetes grow. In contrast to conventional fungi and other biological organisms, myxomycetes, also called slime moulds, form plasmodia, or giant cells, which can extend across several square metres, depending on the species. The glass vessel is made up of a central chamber that is connected to six round-bottom flasks by six coiled pipes. The flasks hold various cultures of the slime mould species Physarum, which wander the pipes in search of nourishment, finally to arrive at a food depot in the upper chamber. The six cells meet in the chamber of parliament and are faced with the choice of merging or remaining separate.