Public engagement and education are one of the most important challenges for the art & science community. Thus ASN is proud to support Rhizosphere: the Big Net Work of Small Worlds , an innovative and comprehensive program in the field of art-science- education, based on inter-university cooperation between the Studio for Transdisciplinary Projects and Research, Faculty of Artistic Education and Curatorial Studies of the  University of Arts  (UAP) and the Faculty of Biology of the Adam Mickiewicz University (UAM) in Poznań.

Rhizosphere: the Big Net Work of Small Worlds

We are becoming more and more aware that the structure of our reality is based on dynamic networks that are in constant interactions: from neural networks to the World Wide Web, from the circulatory system to social, economic and cultural phenomena.

Thanks to the latest technologies, soil environment research reveal a horizontal network of signaling and redistribution of resources, the area of which is an extremely extensive root zone, and the local networks of microorganisms and mycorrhizal fungi participate in it. Because of its integrity and the obligatory nature of plant communities, this newly-discovered underground world has been termed the “Wood Wide Web”.

A platform for interdisciplinary & creative cooperation

In accordance with the strategies of “small worlds”,  Rhizosphere: the Big Net Work of Small Worlds is a platform for interdisciplinary & creative cooperation. It includes individual projects / artistic quests, joint activities, inter-regional workshops, and scientific experiments. The structure of the rhizosphere is open. An important aspect of the project is its inter-environmental character and the active participation of students in the creation of and modification of the project based on their expectations and ambitions.

Immersive interactive art project

The axis of the Rhizosphere: the big Net Work of Small Worlds project is the creation of an immersive interactive art installation, on educational and research aspects, inspired by rhizotrons and “Wood Wide Web” networks. Using the latest visualization technologies, including 3D printing and experimental interfaces, the Internet, the project combines research methodologies and scientific knowledge with artistic strategies, with individual imagination and artistic visions.

The implementation of the program is based on exploration and experiment, on inter-environmental cooperation, sharing knowledge and experience, on innovative educational, artistic and research practices that will cover: Practical classes, workshops, consultations, lectures, seminars, discussions, field work, work in the laboratory , public presentations in the form of exhibitions and symposia.

Rhizosphere: the Big Net Work of Small Worlds, Leading Team

The team leading the project which is a response to changes in contemporary culture and inclusion in avant-garde and increasingly intensifying trends based on mutual relations between art, science, and technology:

Prof UAP, Dr hab. Joanna Hoffmann-Dietrich, University of Arts Poznan
Assistant, Ph.D. candidate Piotr Słomczewski, University of Arts Poznan,
Prof UAM. Dr hab. Marlena Lembicz, Faculty of Biology of the Adam Mickiewicz University in Poznań.
Prof UAM, Dr hab. Władysław Polcyn, Faculty of Biology of the Adam Mickiewicz University in Poznań.
Martyna Dominiak, Ph.D. student, Faculty of Biology of the Adam Mickiewicz University in Poznań.


“In nature, there are no more important and less important, useful and harmful.” Our Earth maintains a balance in which every being plays its role and lives only through other beings. its threads” 

Prof. Piotr Skubała, Faculty of Biology and Environmental Protection, University of Silesia


Rhizosphere: the big Net Work of Small Worlds activities

In keeping with the exploration, experiment, inter-environmental cooperation, sharing of knowledge and experience, and innovative educational, artistic and research practices planned as part of Rhizosphere: the big Net Work of Small Worlds please find a few examples of activities:

 Upcoming activities 2019

2019, Upcoming– December – Exhibition of the hitherto effects of activities under the Rhizosphere: the big Net Work of Small Worlds project, as part of the celebrations of the 100th anniversary of the University of Arts in Poznań.


Previous activities

2018, Grassroots Communities – Radical Botany lessons
Guest lecture by Władysław Polcyn – Faculty of Biology, Adam Mickiewicz University

“Grassroots Communities – radical botany lessons, or the power of connections in “small worlds “networks, that is, about the power of connections in networks of “small worlds”.

2018 Biologists’ Night – Mikoryzator Workshops & installation
Conducted by: Piotr Słomczewski, University of Arts Poznan & Maria Subczyńska. Prepared by: Pracownia Projektów & Badań Transdyscyplinarnych, Faculty of Artistic Education and Curatorial Studies, University of Arts in Poznan.

2018, Lecture on root networks for students of the University of Arts in Poznań
Prof. Marlena Lembicz &  Martyna Dominiak

2018, Fieldworks, Research Station of the Faculty of Biology UAM, Radojewo 
Outdoor environment Prepared by prof. Marlena Lembicz, prof. Władysława Polcyn , Dr. Martyna Dominiak, and students of the Faculty of Biology, UAM Adam Mickiewicz University for students of UAP

Mikoryzator: The Mikoryzator project was born in 2014 on the initiative of UAP student Mariia Subczyńska, who was fascinated by the discovery of information about the existence of network connections mycorrhizal in the context of the Great Wood Internet (Internet Wide Web) c initially creating work about plant communication with humans. The decisive factor influencing the current form adopted by the “Mykoryzator” was cooperation with the Faculty of Biology of Adam Mickiewicz University, especially with Professor Władysław Polcyn. This cooperation resulted in the creation of a BA thesis in the field of arts, Maria Subczyńska, as well as a series of exhibitions and art workshops.

2018, Poznań Festival of Science and Art; Mikoryzator Workshops and interactive installation
Conducted by: Piotr Słomczewski & Maria Subczyńska, UAP

2018, Intercollegiate scientific seminar Rhizosphere: fungi and bacteria in the art network. Organization. Department of History of Art and Culture of the Faculty of Artistic Education and Curation of the UAP, organized by prof. Marta Smolińska

2018, Lectures & workshop at the Botanical Garden of Adam Mickiewicz University,  Lecture “Root Networks” Dr. Karol Węglarski & Dr. Jolanta Jańczyk Węglarska, “A small network of one of the worlds” prof. dr hab. Marlena Lembicz,  archival drawings of Fortunata Obrąpalska, mgr  Małgorzata Kalinowska

2018, Exercises at the Laboratory of Electron & Confocal Microscopy, FB UAP
workshop on diversity and the construction of root networks and mycorrhizal connections.

2019 Biologists Night – workshops and interactive installation

Workshops combined with the construction of an interactive installation, and an exhibition of works by students of the Studio for Transdisciplinary Projects and Research related to the topic of Rhizosphere: the big Net Work of Small Worlds.

2019, Mikoryzator, presented as “The best lesson EVER!: Biology“, Tour Salon, Poznan International Fair – workshop and interactive installation.

Education project carried by the Laboratory of Biotic Interactions UAM and the Studio for Transdisciplinary Projects & Research UAP.

The giant darkmycelium spreads over an area of 8,900 km2. The largest organism on Earth – “Pando”, a maple of aspen poplar – weighs 6,615 tons.

Inspired by such an unusual underground world of root plant and mushroom networks,  participants were invited to participate in workshops to travel deeper into the earth, while they created an interactive art installation reflecting on the uniqueness of natural forms.


2019, Open debate “Metaphor of the network – challenges for ecology and art”, Prof Dr hab Joanna Hoffmann with Prof Dr hab Władysław Polcyn

2019, Workshop at the Research Center of WAM UAM in Białowieża