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 Network 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. The Rhizosphere grows rapidly its network…

Rhizosphere: The Big Network 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 reveals 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 Network 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.
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 cover: practical classes, workshops, consultations, lectures, seminars, discussions, fieldwork, work in the laboratory, public presentations in the form of exhibitions and symposia.

Rhizosphere: The Big Network 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
Ph.D. candidate Martyna Dominiak, 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. We are part of the network, one of its threads.” 

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

Our growing network

Upcoming activities 2020

Rhizosphere at the World Bio Markets Congress 2020, Amsterdam 2-4.11

Previous activities (selection)

2-30.10.2019 – exhibition the hitherto effects of activities under the Rhizosphere: the big Network of Small Worlds project, Collegium Biologicum  UAM (A.Mickiewicz University)

24-28.04.2019 – The workshop at Geobotanical Station of Warsaw University, Białowieża Forest National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage site in Poland 

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

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 Network 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 dark mycelium 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.

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

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.