The Spores of Life and Death


  • Tiina Pusa


posthuman, queer death studies, art-based research, mushrooms, fungus


Fungi are key players in ecosystems. They sustain life, affect the transformation of life forms, and are crucial actors in recycling carbon and minerals back into the common cycle. In addition to the author, three mushrooms are involved in the constellation of this article. In Western art history, self-portraits are intertwined with the theme of death in multiple ways. This posthumanist art-based study asks how mushrooms challenge our understanding of death. The study is located in the framework of queer death studies. Queering death by providing a basis for fungi to grow is a comforting thought.

Thematic Issue



How to Cite

Pusa, T. (2023). The Spores of Life and Death. Research in Arts and Education, 2023(2), 32–44.