Algaes were the first life on earth and has created the oxygen that has since made other life forms possible. In Astrid Myntekærs 'Mana Stash' the algae both represent death and rebirth. Today, as the world metropolises are slowly suffocating by pollution and lack of oxygen, the algaes are both part of the threat and simultaneously they are a new technology for purification of air and water, a contribution to experimental energy production in algae reactors as well as one of the health food industry's popular supplements.
In 'Mana Stash' algae forms a self-generating ecosystem unfolding as an environment of life forms beyond the human scale. Mana is mythological a word for a supernatural force which everything in the universe possesses. It also points to the Bible’s 'Manna from heaven' giving by God to his people in the wilderness for their survival. Today, the gaming industry uses 'Mana Points' or' Magic Points' as concepts of the players' holdings of supernatural powers.
Myntekærs installation orchestrates both the microscopic organic life and the spiritual indefinable void. Ma is the Japanese word for space, a concept that focuses on the spiritual consciousness of the in between space or the negative spaces that exist in any structure. Japanese tatami mats constitute folded surfaces in the exhibition's central sculptural element. They rise from the floor and create a floating architecture with references to both the concept of Ma and De Stijl artist / theorist / architect Friedrich Kiesler's Raum Stadt - a sculptural architecture that would set men free from the cities closed walls and combine art, life and spirituality in a free abstract form.