Decay is sometimes an unsightly signal that it’s time for last week’s leftovers to be expeditiously trashed, although not all spoiling leads to the compost bin or garbage. Bubbly juice and veins of mold are responsible for common fare like beer, cheese, kombucha, kimchi, and bread, and although our reactions of disgust tends to mask the more fruitful features of the decomposition process, spoiling can provide health benefits and also be visually stunning—we’re continually fascinated by Kathleen Ryan’s ability to blur the line between the beautiful and grotesque.
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In the short film “Wrought,” directors Anna Sigrithur and Joel Penner of Biofilm Productions highlight the intriguing and alluring qualities of mold and rot. From wispy spores sprouting atop a surface to liquifying cabbage to shriveling slices of fruit, the documentary timelapse flashes a variety of substances as they wilt and wither and ultimately questions our perceptions of the natural process.