mushroom. intervention. systemic.

First thought after reading “Unruly Edges: Mushrooms as Companion Species”, Arts of Inclusion, or, How to Love a Mushroom”, and the interview with Oliver during weekend is that, I kind of found the purpose of a project, what can I do about it and what’s the possible future of a project. As an artist, I can start from

"love"

, start from developing deeper and knowing thoroughly about what I love, and then gradually, with the creative interventions, I can bridge worlds between public and the field where my passion lies.  Quoted from Anna “… my stories tell how advocacy for mushrooms can lead to projects for democratic science and publicly inclusive wellbeing.“, I’m inspired to search what I’m crazy about and immerse myself in it. Before that, I don’t really understand the goal of this class now I’ve found it. It’s not about just trying to use fungi in your projects and trying to involve Led, motor, Arduino, but trying to intervene this mysterious field with your point of view. Then as a messenger, you expose the rarely-knew info and make it connect to the public.

Thus, simplifying and more comprehensive project update:

2014-02-19 08.08.44

Idea

  • One line description: See the world through fungus.
  • I want to build up connections between fungus and people, and further take fungus as a bridge to connect people with the world beyond fungus. Thus being aware of what fungus is, what fungus does, how does it affect the planet.
  • The idea is playing with the notions from “Mycelium Running” by Paul Stamets,
    • I see the mycelium as the Earth’s natural Internet, a consciousness with which we might be able to communicate. Through cross-species interfacing, we may one day exchange information with these sentient cellular networks. Because these externalized neurological nets sense any impression upon them, from footsteps to falling tree branches, they could relay enormous amounts of data regarding the movements of all organisms through the landscape.
  • One particular thing I’d love to highlight is fungus’s decomposing ability. It is the key of the nutrient cycling system, and also degrade or remove toxins from the environment.
  • So yes, it’s a project with eco-friendly aspect and hope people will be more aware of the environmental issue.

Content

  • Upon a box of soil, are 5~8 mycelium lights hanging and changing between bright and dim gradually.
  • In the background screen, playing the collage of the mycelium activities(growing, moving, etc) video footages, representing fungus’s daily life.
  • Once  someone comes near(detected by ultrasonic sensor), the mycelium lights speed up changing, and forming a pattern of spreading. Also, the screen’s content turns to show the interactions between fungus and humankind, including foraging, pollution, infection, bio-chemical etc.
  • If time permits, the soil will be pushed by the solenoids beneath, amplifying fungus’s awareness of us.

Materials

  • Mycelium Lights * 5~8
    • wrap mycelium(post-blender) around balloons, and poke the balloons once mycelium eats all the materials
  • Wood sticks * 4
  • Wires hiding in flax ropes
  • Wood base
    • soil in wood box
    • ultrasonic sensor attached
    • solenoid beneath(if time permits)

mycelium_ball

Also about the case study, one thing interests me that most of the projects from reading and from Oliver, all have certain degree of public influence, and create new behavior. I wonder how many artist originally had this kind of visions and how many artist eventually made it and change the real world? Or are they actually all make it through but just in different level? And how can we keep our vision and passion vivid and lively?

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