Alanna Lynch: Residency with Kombucha

Alanna Lynch works in collaboration with the microorganisms that produce kombucha tea. Through the process of fermentation this Symbiotic Culture of Bacteria and Yeasts (SCOBY) produces cellulose: a slimy, strong-smelling, flesh-like substance. Gut Feelings is a long-term research-based project, for the past 3 years she has been fermenting, accumulating, consuming, manipulating, and presenting her research through performance and experimental formats.

Research on the microbiome has revealed that half of the cells in the human body are bacterial cells while the microbiome-gut-brain axis has shown that bacteria in the gut, can affect the mind: how people think, feel and even behave!  In this way, bacteria have the potential to challenge binary categories such as subject/object, human/non-human, and mind/body.

During her residency Lynch will explore research questions related to wider notions of symbiosis, the role of the gut and bacteria in processes of intuition, contamination and vulnerability, as well as sensory experiences and embodied knowledge. Through collaborations, with both human and other agents, and direct material engagement, she seeks the generative potential within our reactions to difference.

First photo credit: Berlin Art Prize, photo by Anastasia Muna.

We acknowledge the support of the Canada Council for the Arts: conseildesarts.ca