Taro Knopp

Try, feel, fail. Learn. Think. Play. Observe

Message in a bottle. It’s an ancient way of communication. So when I read about the task of writing a message in a bottle, something came to my mind. Like this golden record of the Voyager mission to send out information to outer space, hoping to contact somebody, like a Message in a Bottle. Practically the same thing. The task was to fill everything on the page the size of this. So it’s a reference to this golden record and I kept it rather symbolic or cryptic, multilayered, not easy to read from up to down because there’s a lot of information. I engage in working with fungi. So first of all, the first layer is a spore print of a typical mushroom or a specific mushroom. At least with the reputation to make you feel entangled. Just some excerpts: Do it yourself with others, together. Communicate. Collaborate. Entanglement shall be the destination. Homeostasis under will. Play, try, fail. Learn. Observe. Feel. Think. Try, feel, fail. Learn. Think. Play. Observe. Try. Feel. Fail. Play.

To describe every layer of this now contained letter would need much more of these papers. The people who know me know that my communication, especially remote or digital communication, is not easy. I am more an analog guy. So if there are any questions, best would be to ask me directly. I’m curious who is going to open up this portal. I’m curious about the diversity of the content of all these letters, because in the Creatures festival in Seville, we had really a bunch of people doing really different projects somehow connected to each other. But yeah, a lot of diversity. This is what I really appreciate, especially about the festival and about life. This diversity is the only thing.

Be creative and do it together

Call it art. Call it playing. Call it an experiment. Call it you are trying to feel alive to do something. I did not consider what I’m doing as art for a long time. Maybe a stupid proof for what I’m doing is art is that I get invited, art festivals and doing exhibitions in an artistic context… Basically what I wanted to say is to give back what was given to me, to engage people, to do things where maybe they don’t have any title. Again this ‘art’ word, just do something. Be creative and do it together. And I really, really, really appreciate it. This concept is working. This concept is thriving. This concept is vital. It’s not isolated to one brain, one way of thinking, one opinion. It’s to cope with more of these, to make it more complex, diverse, and rich.

How boring would the world be where I could understand everything?

If you share, you can enable others to do things that they want to do, not what you want to make them do. But just to give an inspiration is to have it as a word, but just to provide conditions for everybody of us, of not only human society, but as a whole as is. What I call it life. To try to reconnect in our Western, so-called developed society. We pretend to understand everything or be able to understand everything. How boring would the world be if  I could understand everything? I hope I’m never going to understand everything or pretend to. So are so many, many things even contradictory. A contradiction for me is not an obstacle, it’s a part of existence. It’s part of the system. It’s part of life.

The only thing called life

I avoid isolating art, to isolate politics, to isolate science, to isolate life, to isolate reality from each other. For me, it’s one big thing, different aspects of one big thing, the only thing called life. Starting here. I was brought by friends, introduced by friends again. One of the big lectures is “You’re alone? You’ll end up nowhere.” Not these big inventors or this genius or how to call it being isolated, it’s all about collaboration. It doesn’t matter if it’s consciously or unconsciously. Better way is to do it with consciousness. A better way is to have a will towards this direction, of course.

About Taro Knopp

Taro Knopp is a researcher and artist, who works with mycelia within the framework of the cultural center Stadtwerkstatt (Linz), which is a member of the international Mycelium Network Society.

CreaTures resources

Pirici, A. (2022). Entanglement [Festival keynote]. CreaTures Festival, Sevilla, Spain.

Knopp, T., Debevec, E. & Ambrožič, N. (2022) MyCoBiont [Festival Pechakucha presentation]. CreaTures Festival, Sevilla, Spain.

Kersnikova Institute (2022) MyCoBiont . Ljubljana, Slovenia.

Botero, A., Choi, J. H-j., Jain, A., Lapin, K., Sharma, S., Pineros, N., Lintunen, A. & Catlow, R. (2021). What is a forest? When is a forest? [Panel discussion]. Vienna Biennale for Change 2021. 

Lohmann, J., Jenik, A., Shamsher S., Fung, P., Markle, G. & Zamuruieva, I. (2021). Baltic Sea Lab: How creative practices can support sea health [Panel discussion]. Open to public, Part of Baltic Sea Lab ExP.

Jain, A., Spačal, S., Planišček, A. Petrič, Š., Peirano, M. (2021). (re)programming: Interdependence – Post-Human Politics [Discussion]. Aksioma – (re)programming: Strategies for Self-renewal.