Underground. From sweaty basements to hidden mycelium networks, Ringailė explores the unseen and distorts perceptions through entangled artworks. As a interdisciplinary artists, she crafts worlds where fiction meets reality.

Ars Electronica, Clone Records, Club Elastica, Digital Tsunami, Herrensauna, Intergalactic FM, Het Nieuwe Instituut, Kablys Club, Live From Earth, Lizdas, Mechatronica, PIP den Haag, Pinkman Records, POING CLUB, Tresor, V2_, Wigs.
Picture from Trash in the Yard exhibition at Trompenburg botanical garden, taken by Mikolaj Stojanowic, 2022

Visual Fungi Language

New research by Andrew Adamatzky in 2020 suggests that fungi have electrical spiking activity that resembles human speech and can organise up to 50 words into sentences. Yet reacting to Adamatzky’s research on, mycologist Dan Bebber ironically said “that the idea of electrical fungal language 'would require far more research and testing of critical hypotheses before we see “‘Fungus” on Google Translate.” But given the critical role of fungi in ecosystems and the valuable insights they can provide for preventing further ecological degradation, I posed the question: what if we would see "Fungus" on Google Translate? To better comprehend Adamatzky’s research, I decided to visualise it. Upon examining the charts and graphs, an idea occurred to me: if we can translate fungi's electrical signals into binary strings, is it possible to translate them back into electrical signals? I used the Latin alphabet as the most understandable writing system for me and translated it into binary code, which is the foundation of nearly all computing technology today. Since computers are also used to understand the electrical spiking activity of fungi, I thought it would be a good basis for creating a visual language for fungi. To create the language, I developed barcode-like symbols that resemble binary strings and speculated how they could be translated into electrical signals and communicated to mushrooms. I created seven iterations of the visual fungi language in total.

I decided to sonify my fungi visual language based on the first iteration of the visual fungi language since it resembled piano keys. In binary one is on, and 0 is off. I noticed that one byte has the same amount of bits as solfège has notes if you include the repeated note at the scale’s end. I took flat (white, (b)) piano keys in the same octave and pressed same piano keys as ones were located in a byte.  In this recording you can hear "this is how visual fungus language sounds like"

Listen Here

Radio Ruins. Lost & Sound Broadcast on Operator Radio accompanied by a physical exhibition at the Time is The New Space. Pictures taken by Mikolaj Stojanowic, 2022
For the second iteration of letters, I wanted to make letter shapes more organic and decided to use circles and bent lines. First, I would draw the Latin letter, and based on the stroke movement, I created a new symbol by using the binary translation of that letter. “0” (zero) would stand for one circle, and “1” (one) would stand for one line in my letter. 

Square and circle based symbols felt too artificial and digital for a speculative language of fungi. Mushrooms come in various shapes and forms, so why not use their visual appearance as inspiration? 

4th iteration evolved to be a simplified version of the 3rd one. It resembled ancient Irish language - Ogham script. It reminded me of ethnic Lithuanian folk symbols. 

For the 5th iteration of the visual fungal language, I thought to convert traditional baltic patterns into readable scripts.