A contemplative experience bio-electrically guided by living mycelium
The Lab at the Art Gallery of Greater Victoria, BC
April 1 thru October 29, 2023
Opening reception live quadraphonic performance, April 1, 3PM-4pm PT
Symbiont::MyceliOhms brings Guests within a microbial old growth forest environment, sharing concepts of forest sentience, mycelial communications and how humans are connected to the shared Terrestrial environment.
Symbiont::MyceliOhms is a hyphal node off Tosca Terán’s Symbiosis/\Dysbiosis project presented during the Goethe Institute’s New Nature Climate Science Exchange between Canada, Germany, Mexico and the US. The piece imagines a microbial old-growth forest environment. Sharing concepts of forest sentience, mycelial communications and how humans are connected to the shared Terrestrial environment and ultimately to each other.
Symbionts vary according to the types of relationships they share with their host. These relationships are generally described by whether they are helpful or harmful to both parties.
Projection & interaction: Photogrammetric and Lidar scans of Coastal Old Growth Rainforest areas were captured and turned into Point Clouds. The living fungi are connected into a nodal-based network controlling visual effects. When Visitors move within the space, and occasionally through proximity they will see themselves as microbial, fungal life connecting with the forest, and with each other. How Humans move through a space has impact.
Touch: The branch serves as a connection between Forest and Fungal communication networks and Human life. When visitors place their hands onto the branch their biodata passes through the branch, into the fungi and back into the synthesizers- communicating through bio-electrical activity. A duet with the mycelium network. Touch has impact.
Types of Symbiotic Relationships
Symbionts vary according to the types of relationships they share with their host. These relationships are generally described by whether they are useful or harmful to both parties. The six different types of symbiotic relationships are:
In his 2014 paper, The Web of Life: Human Symbiosis with Other Life Forms and the Environment, Daniel Benor, MD, offers interesting insights and suggestions for human beings to recognize their symbiotic (and parasitic) relationships. He discusses and breaks down the various definitions of Symbiosis, and asks a lot of questions.
What if non-Indigenous people accept that they are part of a greater, collective living ecological “interbeing” that includes all life on our planet?
Here's a link to the full publication I urge you to read it,
The MyceliOhms installation expands upon another view of my research into Fungi sentience, interconnectivity and forest communication. Forests represent to me the most peaceful, calming space. In particular, the old-growth forests of Northern California, the Northwest Coast and British Columbia. Overgrown with lichen and moss, you will find fungi thrive there.
Forest communication. The roots of trees are physically connected to the mycelium that stretches underneath the forest floor, connecting to other trees, quite similar to the human nervous system.
Mycelium composes what’s called a “mycorrhizal network*,” which connects individual plants together to transfer water, nitrogen, carbon, and other minerals. In the forest-fungi networks are hub trees. Also referred to as “Mother trees,” these are the older, more seasoned trees in a forest. Typically, they have the most fungal connections. Their roots are established in deeper soil and can reach deeper sources of water to pass on to younger saplings.
Symbiont. Here, I am referring to human beings with a heavy influence from Donna Haraway's Staying with the Trouble: Making Kin in the Chthulucene, Animate Earth: Science, Intuition and Gaia by Stephan Harding, Symbiotic Planet by Lynn Margulis, and Sounds Wild and Broken by David George Haskell.
Utilizing augmented reality and interactive projections within a nonHuman collaborative quadraphonic soundscape, I invite guests into this world to imagine fungal and microbial communication taking place within forest biomes and our connectivity within the shared Terrestrial environment.
The artist would like to acknowledge funding support from the Ontario Arts Council, an agency of the Government of Ontario.
For the Symbiosis/\Dysbiosis body of work I have had the pleasure of working with some of the top Metaverse talent today: Tyson Cross, Jason Stapleton, Dale Deacon, Sean Devonport, and Sara Lisa Vogl.
Ongoing collaborators: Brendan Lehman, Michael Barngrover, Sina Awsemoon, Peter Henderson, Penelope Walcott, and my musical partner Andrei Gravelle.
Arduino and Photogrammetric collaborators: Lorena Salomé, Leif Blomquist and Allison Moore.
*German forester Peter Wohlleben dubbed this network the “wood wide web,” as it is through the mycelium that trees “communicate.”