Jenna Sutela / Samara Editions PROTOPLASMIC FLOW


Take your time.

One of artist Jenna Sutela’s regular collaborators, Physarum polycephalum, is often referred to as a
natural computer.
This yellow, ‘many-headed’ slime mold is an ancient, decentralized, autonomous
organism that processes data without a nervous system, operating via communities of coordinated
nuclei that demonstrate advanced spatial intelligence. If the slime mold cannot find the resources it
needs, it hibernates until better conditions arise; theoretically, it is immortal.
Over the years, Sutela has, for example, ingested the slime mold in her performances as a form of artificial intelligence, letting its hive-like behavior program her own.
Sutela’s work for Samara reactivates this line of work, delivering co-existence with the slime mold to
people’s homes in the form of a dried sample of Physarum polycephalum as well as related
performative instructions. Inside the box, the audience receives everything necessary to grow slime
mold at home, and witness the behaviour of this fascinating organism. With the set of performative
instructions, Jenna Sutela proposes the ways of co-existing and engaging with Physarum


Jenna Sutela works with words, sounds, and other living media, such as Bacillus subtilis nattō
bacteria and the “many-headed” slime mold Physarum polycephalum. Her audiovisual pieces,
sculptures, and performances seek to identify and react to precarious social and material moments,
often in relation to technology. Sutela’s work has been presented at museums and art contexts
internationally, including Guggenheim Bilbao, Moderna Museet, and Serpentine Galleries. She is a
Visiting Artist at The MIT Center for Art, Science & Technology (CAST) in 2019-21.


By Jenna Sutela
Physarum polycephalum grown by Ian Hands-Portman
Graphic design Johannes Schnatmann e Pomo
Font Helsinki Type Studio
Thanks to Vanda Skácalová e Leah Whitman-Salkin
Published by Samara Editions, Milano, 2021
Co-production Azienda Speciale Palaexpo | Mattatoio
Première in the frame of re-creatures, Rome, July 2021
Printed in Italy

Supported by
Kone Foundation e Finnish Cultural Foundation

    After purchasing the ticket to Protoplasmic Flow, you will receive a box containing
    everything required to activate the performance in a location of your choosing

    Instructions are in English and Italian

So... is this getting serious?

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