Braninless Intelligence

After reading 1/3 part of Mycelium Running, a fungi bible by Paul Stamets, I’m amazed by how efficiently and fast the mold responds toward its food. It must be one of the reasons that fungi are used to earth’s Clean-Up. In a maze of having oat in the exit, within only 8 hours, the brainless slime mold, Physarum polycephalum, first occupied the whole area and then found the shortest ways out, by natural appealing to food.

mold maze

I looked further into Physarum polycephalum, and found out a research, by Chris Reid of the University of Sydney, state that..

As polycephalum moves through a maze or crawls along the forest floor, it leaves behind a trail of translucent slime. …a foraging slime mold avoids sticky areas where it has already traveled. …is a kind of externalized spatial memory that reminds polycephalum to explore somewhere new.

Spatial memory function! This interests me a lot. There are already a lot of experiments about using slime mold to run the metropolitan traffic system, and found they amazingly similar. I want to do something like that, with same spirit. I want to fungus to guide my route!

My initial idea about fungus project is to make a helmet/hat out of mushrooms. Literally having mushrooms growing on my helmet/hat. Because what intrigues me the most about fungi at first, is its appearance and the emotion it makes me feel, I think it would be a good point to start with, its looks and psychological impact. But then I went just really confused… Is it even meaningful?

So, if I combine both appearance and behavior of fungi together as the theme for my project, will it be more meaningful and complete? Right now in my mind is…. I’ll wear that mushroom helmet/hat, and follow the route of slime mold.

Isn’t it super weird?