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Archive I: Diverged Origins

July 13, 2023—August 31, 2023

Opening Reception:
Thursday, July 13, 5-8 p.m
NewStudio Gallery

Curators Discussion with Raíz Symbiotisk and Emerging Curators Institute Director Barak adé Soleil
Thursday, August 24, 5-7pm
NewStudio Gallery

NewStudio Gallery and Emerging Curators Institute are pleased to host Raíz Symbiotisk’s first exhibition, “Archive I: Diverged Origins.” Raíz Symbiotisk is a Minneapolis-based curatorial collective founded by Pamela Vázquez Torres (she/her/hers) and Emma Wood (they/them/hen), recipients of the 2022-2023 Emerging Curators Institute’s Fellowship.

“Archive I: Diverged Origins,” revolves around symbolisms extracted from fungi as a concept, or “fungal threads” such as origins, grief, transcendence, symbiosis, community, remediation, and regeneration. The exhibition includes interdisciplinary work by artists from the U.S., Canada, and Mexico. 

“Archive I: Diverged Origins” opens with a public reception on Thursday, July 13, from 5-8 p.m. at NewStudio Gallery. On Thursday, August 24, at 5 p.m., the curators will engage in a public discussion with Emerging Curators Institute Director  Barak adé Soleil (they + he). The exhibition closes Thursday, August 31.

“Within Raíz Symbiotisk (raˈis – SIM- [BY] + [OT] + [IKS]) is symbiosis in a shared curiosity for fungi as arts facilitators, from the perspective of an interdisciplinary artistic practice, and from a research/archive perspective,” explain Torres and Wood. “Archive I: Diverged Origins” is the culmination of Torres and Wood’s fellowship with Emerging Curators Institute, which included monthly cohort meetings, professional development, administrative and funding support. The exhibition is the first in an ongoing series.

“Fungal lore and knowledge have been passed along since ancestral cultures,” Torres and Wood explain. “In recent years, fungi have been in the spotlight in the research and innovation of human well-being and environmental remediation, with a growing realization of existing interspecies entanglements. Our curatorial motivation is to delve into this subject and research art practices at the intersection of science and technology, with a keen interest in human, non-human, and post-human manifestations.”

The works in the exhibition include linocut prints by Lynda Grafito (Cali, Columbia) and works constructed from biological materials by Eli Brown (Boston, Massachusetts, USA). An installation of hanging textiles by Lucero Paniagua Ortuño (Morelos, Mexico) was made with fungal pigments and other natural dyes. Tosca Teran (Toronto, Canada) works with fungi matter and biodata sonification to create dynamic, mixed reality installations.

“The artists we’ve selected for ‘Archive I: Diverged Origins’ show a keen interest in incorporating explorations of nature within their work as a way to express their own processes of identity and memory,” say Wood and Torres. “Eli Brown’s work is rooted in queer ecologies and in the curiosity of learning new forms of embodiment and social relations from plants, bacteria, fungi, and other symbiotic organisms.” 

“Lynda Grafito’s printmaking process questions her relationship with the land, as a familial memory, and in the present environment she occupies. Lucero Paniaga Ortuño’s artistic practice is centered in ancestral techniques passed along generations in her family, and through her work she finds a way to connect with that history. Through her fungal, immersive installations, Tosca Terán, responds to her fascination with life of all kinds and how humans interact with it.”  


  • Step-free access is via a ramp on the north side of the building and elevator.
  • For the curators discussion, American Sign Language (ASL) interpretation and audio description will be available.

As ECI evolves in supporting accessibility for D/deaf and disabled communities, we welcome you to email [email protected] should you have access needs not noted, and we will do our best to accommodate.

Artist bios

Eli Brown (He/They) (Boston, Massachusetts, USA)
Eli Brown is an interdisciplinary artist whose work in the field of queer ecologies spans sculpture, writing, drawing, social practice, and public art. Eli explores trans-ness as a lineage, and as an evolutionary phenomenon that is not always human. His research is both experiential and rooted in queer ecologies, which bridges queer theory and environmental science, and challenges the problematic foundations of evolutionary biology and speciesism which continue to inform our bodily experiences. Their work is in the love of asking what we can learn from plants, bacteria, fungi, and other symbiotic organisms, who have been alive longer than human beings, about our own species and its ability to survive. Recent work has been featured at Franconia Sculpture Park, Flux Factory, deCordova Sculpture Park and Museum, and Creative Time Summit X. Their writing and work have been published in Antennae: The Journal of Nature in Visual Culture, and the upcoming Artists and The Practice of Agriculture (Routledge). 

Lynda Grafito (Lynda Acosta) (She/Her) (Cali, Colombia)
Visual artist Lynda Grafito, who currently lives in Minneapolis/St. Paul, was a cartoonist of two graphic novels that won creation grants: Cielo Rojo (2017) and Ciudad Perdida (2019) with L.E.C.H.E. Collective. Her first international group show was the MCAD Art Sale, Migani Mirror (2019) for a graphic representation of the graphic novel Dos Aldos, by Cohete comics. She was part of the group show The Land Within Us (2022) at Fresh Eye Gallery. She participated in the first Day of the Dead Parade on Lake Street exhibiting her linocuts in local businesses. She collaborated on murals for East Side Pride (2022), St. Paul; Los Ancestros (2022) on Lake Street, Minneapolis; and What a Wonderful World (2022) in Payne Avenue, Saint Paul, managed by Copla Murals, of which she is a member. 

Lucero Paniagua Ortuño (She/Her) (Morelos, Mexico)
In her work, Lucero Paniagua Ortuño delves into the extraction of pigments, dyes, and traditional techniques of the pre-Hispanic colonial era and the ways in which they are used by master craftsmen. Her research focuses on practices within the states of Michoacán, Oaxaca, and Morelos. She explores colors, fibers and supports, working in a pictorial way and taking up implicit historical symbolisms in each pigment. She extracts her pigments and dyes from; achiote (achiote); azafrán (saffron); cempaxúchitl (marigold); grana cochinilla (cochineal); curcuma (turmeric); muicle (honeysuckle); jamaica (hibiscus); palo de brasil (brazilwood). Recent work has been featured in CLUES gallery (St. Paul), El Centro Morelense de las Artes (CMA; Morelos Center for the Arts), the Museum of the City of Cuernavaca (MUCIC), and the 90º Fast Gallery (Mexico City). She was part of the 2022 Mexico in Minneapolis Folks Arts Residency by the Weisman Art Museum and the Office of Arts, Culture and Creative Economy. 

Tosca Terán (She/Her) (Toronto, Canada)
Tosca Terán (aka Nanotopia) is an interdisciplinary artist whose work is a confluence of art, ecology, and craft. She has been a professional metalsmith and glass artist for more than over 40 years, incorporating electronics and sound into metal and glass bodies of work. In 2011, she began creating sensory-rich installations, from the Midnight Mushroom Music archives and the Mycelium Martian Dome to fungi-controlled VR experiences. These scenarios involve the biodata of living fungi, asking viewers to consider nonhuman sentience and how humans move within and impact the shared environment. She is actively researching a fungi-based BioData-Remediation project with Aerospace Engineer Dr. Valeria La Saponara, UC Davis, in collaboration with the California Indigenous Water Commission and water protectors of the Cahto Tribe. Her work has been featured at SOFA New York, The Toronto Design Exchange’s Digifest, MOCA Toronto, The Ontario Science Centre, Vector Festival, SONICA21, NAISA (New Adventures in Sound Art), The New Nature Climate Science Exchange, Grow-Op Toronto, The Venice International Film Festival and Ars Electronica. She has received funding support and awarded residencies from the Corning Museum of Glass, Pilchuck Glass School, The Goethe-Institut Montreal, The Canada, Ontario and Toronto Arts Councils, BigCi Australia, LOBE Spatial Sound Studio and The Coalesce Centre for Biological Art at SUNY Buffalo for her work in nonhuman bio-sonification, fungal bio-materials, and immersive environments. Tosca is an invited art director and tutor for the Venice Biennale Cinema College VR.

Black and white portrait of the curators Pamela Vázquez Torres (left) and Emma Wood (right) standing next to each other. Pamela has dark straight hair, wearing a black long sleeve turtle neck and smiling at the camera. Emma has light colored hair in two braids with bangs. Emma has a nose ring and jewelry above their top lip. They are also smiling at the camera with head slightly tilted upward.
Various dyed fabrics by Lucero Paniagua Ortuño hanging from the ceiling with light shining through them. There are two gallery visitors on the left facing the right.
Photo Documentation by Nicole Thomas
Wide perspective of the gallery with various attendees conversing together. In the foreground and background are artworks made by Eli Brown.
Photo Documentation by Nicole Thomas