Proposal by: Leo Kay

The Acid House Of Ideas

Project Proposal: Bread, microbial and plant agency, fermentation, human evolution and collective ritual.

A month-long participatory exhibition centered around the building of a model house of ergot-inoculated rye bread; exploring the recent history of human alienation from the land; the creative/healing potential within & ecological urgency for experience engaging collective ritual, nature encounter, psychedelics & naturally induced altered states.


Herbs - Credits: unknown Leo Kay

 The Bakery Of Slow Ideas Presents

The Acid House Of Ideas: a heathen investigation

                 'The roots of the word heathen run far deeper than its derogatory godless connotation. It is believed to come from the Germanic word meaning dweller on the heath, one inhabiting uncultivated land.  To be heathen means to belong to the wild, to take our lessons from the natural world, and to be nourished by what we fundamentally are rather than what we are told we must be.'

                                                 Danielle Dusky: The Holy Wild

A two-meter cubed, Hansel and Gretal-style house made of rye bread stands in the center of the room. It acts as the focal point for a growing and evolving installation. It is infused with fungal spores (Ergot/psilocybin). Over a month it molds and grows, it transforms and breeds life. Surrounding this centerpiece are various action stations and traces: a long table covered with herbal and fermenting concoctions, plants and ovens where the loaves of bread that are now this miniature house were made, DJ Decks, and a sound system for the collective rituals and dance parties. The floors & walls are covered in poetic thought, collective expression, new ideas for our fugitive futures together. 


There is space for symposium, ritual, and ceremony. 

Readings, makings, dances, poetry, Libations, meditations, and incantations are offered throughout this living sculpture.

This ‘Acid House’ will stand as a central totem to the month-long residency. Its transformation through fermentation, fungal growth & rot symbolizes an organic non-human-based process in our collective thinking & creative practices. 


The idea and the ideas behind the idea
mushrooms, magic, and massacres

The witch hunts of the middle ages are recognized as the most brutal affront on pre-Christian Animism experienced by the European Diaspora. It instrumentalized fear of the outsider and the autonomous feminine &  justified centuries of ensuing femicide. One of the most famous of all witch trials started in 1692 in Salem Massachusetts. Two children, aged 9 and 11, daughters of a local reverend, were overcome with spasms, contortions, delirium, and, hallucinations. Three outspoken, independent women, one of whom was of Indigenous South American origin were accused of Witchcraft. Soon several other people within the community came down with the same symptoms and since the idea that this was the work of the devil had taken hold, 22 people in all were eventually tried, convicted, and, murdered for witchcraft. 

Though there is no conclusive evidence it is suggested that a possible reason for this condition was not related to witchcraft but rather to Ergotism otherwise known as St Anthony's Fire, which is a condition affecting people who eat ergot-infected bread. Ergot is a fungus that grows on grain, rye grain. It favors a cold winter and a cool wet growing season. Extreme symptoms are as described above and also include skin crawling and the sensation of feeling like you are on fire… hence the name. That year they had a cool wet growing season. In other accounts of trials, it is suggested that witchcraft was ‘learned’ through the ingestion of ergot. Lysergic acid can be extracted from Ergot. It is a psychoactive ingredient and a precursor to the hallucinogen LSD.

'The witch hunts were really killing those people that lived and taught that we are a part of nature. The witches were teachers of oneness with nature. They were the ones who were hunted down and this occurred for a century or two. Nine million people were killed in Europe. It was a killing of the ecological mind'

                                                                                               Writer/Ecologist Vandana Shiva in conversation with Russel Brand in the Video:  This is how we beat The Great Reset

Within the time period of the witch hunts the white supremacist, capitalist, patriarchy was already taking hold, across the globe. Seen through the enclosure of the commons, the Feudal system and witch hunts in Europe, and, the barbarism of colonial massacre and subjugation further afield. 

We are at a turning point. We are in the midst of the 6th Mass extinction that planet earth has experienced. We are within the Anthropocene, whereupon the actions of humans are the cause of fundamental changes in the earth's atmosphere and the capacity for species survival. 

There are great advancements being made in microbiology, our understanding of how microorganisms move and interact with the context within which they live. The developments in understanding of what helps and keeps a human healthy and alive are entangled with the microbial world, with rotting and fermentation. Our understanding of what we are and how we coexist with the world around us is and needs to change radically if we and the planet are to survive.

 Can we consider the consumption of ergot, psilocybin mushrooms, or any other plant medicine as a tool for the disintegration of cultural constructions of separation? Can we recognize this as a form of rotting or fermentation, disintegrating our patterns of thinking and feeling? The first threshold we must pass through before we have the capacity to encounter further layers of consciousness. These further layers could include symbiotic thinking with the plant world. In this process, the human mind is no longer seen as the sole carrier of knowledge but instead, we begin to recognize the capacity and necessity of co-evolution and collective thought in search of solutions for our current socio-ecological crisis. 

This project asks: Can we re-articulate our position on this planet and become more attuned to our interrelation and interdependence with all forms of life through attention to natural processes of growth and death, plant medicine, herbalism, and collective consideration?

The Process

This Participatory Haptic Happening will occur over a month-long, in-person, and virtual residency. It is a collaboration between artists Leo Kay, Robert Steijn, and, Wannes Labath using as a starting point The Bakery Of Slow Ideas (TBOSI), a  research and social art practice that Leo Kay has been evolving and presenting across the UK and Europe over the past 4 years.

TBOSI explores the alchemy of Sourdough baking & vegetable fermentation to construct durational participatory experiences, working with dialogue, ritual & collective action.

This collaboration is a call to go beyond listening, to attempt at generating a shared consciousness where the division of human and non-human knowledge and behavior blurs.  We ask what sort of protocol we need to guide a fermentation process within a group of artists and scientists fueled by plant knowledge. Can we take inspiration from past examples such as the Eleusinian Mysteries or Dyonisian rites?  Through intoxication, these rites brought the participants into a collective state beyond the death of the ego. There occurred a  disintegration of the culturally constructed self and a buildup of a new community. Can we find a way to dissolve ego lead obsession with authorship and lose ourselves in the thinking patterns of other humans and nonhuman species, allow the plants to speak through us; to make conference, debate, and art in co-creative encounter?

Within this exhibition and residency, we come together in close dialogue with the fungal kingdom to generate a flow, an untraceable blending of ideas, thoughts, texts, and movement; a fertile soil for seeds that can germinate with an audience in our proposed public gatherings. Along the way,  we will develop collective mysteries of magic and witchcraft fitting to our times.

Phase 1 FERMENT, MUSH, BAKE AND, BUILD (7-day residency)


Making the Sourdough MUSH & opening party to sweat with the sourdough mother. 

Day 2 MUSH: 

The public engage in MUSH Haptic somatic installation, Further inoculating the mother. Human, interspecies communication ensues.

Day 3-5 BAKE

Using TBOSI practice we bake enough bread to build The Acid House of Ideas. Themes covered throughout the days: 

  • The oppression of the feminine, feminism, and concepts of nature. The binary gender oppositions shaped and polarised by Patriarchal thinking.  
  • Fragmentation, individuation, and isolation vs tools for empathy and re-connection as strategies for survival. 
  • Plant medicine: A possible strategy for change vs extractionism and cultural appropriation. Big pharma, big tech, big business, and identity making through cooption and cultural appropriation.  

Day 6&7 BUILD

We build the Acid House of Ideas installation using Sourdough leaven for mortar and Rye Bread for bricks. 


6 artists engage in a month-long psilocybin micro-dosing process. An online art, poetic writing, movement, and dialogue process. 


Collaborators meet at Mediamatic for the middle weekend to offer public processes, explore future outcomes and begin gathering material for the publication. 


A final weekend/ A mini-festival of experiences exploring new ways to encounter and think of ourselves and our relationship to each other and the world around us. Experiences will include: collective dance, hosted Dialogue, plant nurturing, Symposium, Poetic presentation, performance, DJ sets, Zine making, house smashing, and food sharing.


Core Collaborators: 

Leo Kay is a UK director, mentor, maker of performance & Participatory social art practice: 

Instagram: @thebakeryofslowideas website:

Robert Steijn: Is an Amsterdam/Mexico-based performer, dramaturg, director, and choreographer:  

Instagram: @robertsteijn 

Wannes Labath: Wannes Labath (1989) is a Belgian-based dancer, improviser, bodyworker part-time poët, devoted doodler, daycare worker, and a flourishing failure.: 

Instagram: @wannes_labath

+ 3 guest artists

Production Manager: Anna Smith


Production Budget


Core collaborators 3 people 6 weeks                                                  12000

Invigilation of installation MUSH                                                        500

Production manager (14 days total)                                                   2800


Invited collaborators @ 300 a day

3  people x 9 days over the month                                                     8100

Materials and production budget

Including Baking workshops, installation build, zine making and 

production, ovens, microdosing, and weekend encounter                       7000


Some core and invited artists from abroad                                            2200

Accommodation                                                                               3000

Total                                                                                                 35600

If Budget were not a problem we would:


  • 20 artists and scientists to engage in the month-long creative microdosing process;
  • CA Conrad to run a suspension poetry workshop;   
  • Silvia Federici & Bayo Akomolafe to give an online seminars; 
  • Maria Scaroni & Vladimir Miller to lead a  Death Dance Ritual.
  • Social artists to hold a collective build of an earth oven as a social art project for community use.
  • Collaborate with brewery Oedipus on the creation of an ergot-infused Kykeon* beer.