Brewing Symbiotic Care: Feeding and Nurturing a Fungi Cyborg Feminist Future

The hymn to Ninkasi, one of the ancient beer goddesses, will still be sung in the future. There, she will appear as a fungi cyborg goddess and will stand for one of the first and most important symbiotic collaborations between human beings, fungi, and technologies; one that is necessary for the survival of all that lives and casts a light on how deep our mutual dependence is. The proposal consists in a 3D world, a futurist brewery where plants, microorganisms (yeast), machines, and human beings are working in symbiosis.

Marie-Eve Levasseur / Leipzig, Germany — Nov 16, 2020

Marie-Eve Levasseur, Ninkasi tablets yeast

The products of the mysterious, almost magical process of fermentation have accompanied people’s rituals since the beginning. Although humans did not name the single-celled fungus microorganism by its scientific name saccharomyces cerevisiae (a.k.a. brewer’s yeast), they understood the making of an entity, and they called her Ninkasi, Mbaba-Mwanna-Waresa, or Tenetet (Sumerian, Zulu, and Egyptian beer goddesses). Through an imaginary space that would take the form of short videos with text and images as a collage on a dedicated webpage, I want to make visible the unrecognized work of the brewsters, alewives, and other women who brew for their kin to survive. They also gathered specific knowledge about plants and fungi, healing and caring for their own bodies and those related to them. I also want to examine the relationship of human beings with yeast, researching former and current rituals and looking at the power relations related to brewing and caring.

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