DECOMPOSER SYNDICATE

Decomposer Syndicate (2020), Video Installation, video shot at Lappeenranta Art Museum in February 2020.

Decomposer Syndicate is an installation that is set in the imaginary future, in the year 2070. The piece depicts a meeting room of an activist group.

In t 2070, the climate change has been stopped and the social system has changed completely. After degrowth of consuming and oil consumption, various decomposing organisms have become increasingly important to society. Global capitalism has come to an end. Mass production of meat has ceased. Using fungi as translators people have learned how to communicate with different species.

The installation contains four animations. On the installation table three screens show time-lapse animations of slime molds and decaying plants in a style of an educational video. One screen that shows a slime mold animation is also placed on the wall.

Slime mold is an organism which is classified as amoeba and it consists mainly of cytoplasm. They live mainly on rotten wood and are neither plants nor animals. Although slime molds lacks muscles, brains and a nervous system, they are able to move.They spend most of their lives as individual one cell creatures, but when a chemical signal is received, that happens when food is short, they assemble into a cluster that acts as one organism. The cells don’t only come together but they really form one organism.

In this piece slime mold is a symbol of collectivity and posthumanistic thinking. The whole artwork manifests the the unity of the biosphere and the importance of all the living beings. When everything is dependent on everything, even of the smallest micro-organisms become crucial.

DECOMPOSER SYNDICATE MANIFESTO:

The Decomposer Syndicate demands that the outdated term ‘consumer’ be replaced by the term ‘decomposer’. The new saprotrophic trend recognises all materials’ potential for decomposing and the broader spectrum of nutrient cycling. We have great respect for slime mould, arthropods, bacteria, fungi and polypores.

Equality – which we take for granted between humans and animals – must extend to cover the more simple organisms such as amoebas, regardless of the species.

We are also concerned about the widespread idea of the new so-called free trade zone. We have all heard this before, and anyone familiar with 20th century history will shudder at the thought. Nobody wants to replace the freedom of association, freedom from the mechanisms of value creation or political and economic intellectualism with a retrograde capitalist system.

It is true that all fossil fuels were formed before the development of fungi. However, the Decomposer Syndicate believes that it is wrong to blame fungi for burning oil and for the resulting carbon dioxide emissions. We demand that the widely-spread blaming of fungi for this as well as other forms of their discrimination and, at worst, their mass destruction be stopped right now.

When we talk about getting organised, we are not talking about a chain, and especially not about a pyramid. No. We are talking about mycorrhiza or mycelium. We will learn from the fan-shaped growth of phaneroplasmodium on decaying wood. We move, mycelium-like, forward, backward, sideways and up and down.

Not consumers but decomposers!

Dust to dust, through compost and arthropods!

We will all be one in the end!