Stained with manufactured objects, slime molds and spores grow into unnaturally conspicuous compositions



September 24, 2021

Grace Ebert

All images © Dasha Plesen, shared with permission

The Moscow-based artist and mold enthusiast Daria Fedorova intervenes in natural decomposition processes, accentuates textures and colors and pushes the boundaries between science and art. The artist who as Dasha Plesen, lace up petri dishes with various bacteria and other organisms before adding additional items such as fluffy balls, sugar and sprinkles to the container. These artificial additives prevent the growth from producing innumerable shades and structures and cultivate otherworldly compositions of unnaturally saturated colors, downy spots and bloated slime snakes in a single vessel.

Without antibiotics or other treatments that would keep the fungi and spores from perishing, it takes between three and four weeks for Plesen’s work to become a reality. She tells Colossal that the current project started with “the idea of ​​a microbiological mapping of our environment” and explains:

We all swim in the ocean of tiny spores and organisms, breathe them in and wear them on our skin and in our bodies. I was interested in this parallel between the physical world, which we can see and touch, and another physical world, which is also presented, but is somehow metaphysical, invisible, somewhere between the layers of air, vibrations, energies, nature.

Whether stacked rows of spores or a bubbling edge, the resulting studies are peppered with questions about human imposition, the artificial, cyclical processes and the inherent beauty of decay. Discover a larger collection of Plesen’s works on Behance and Instagram. (above Trendland)


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