The Myco-Sound-Dome project and accompanying activities aim to bring communities into a reciprocal relationship with the largest organism on the planet. Fungi draw into question our notions of individuality as they link together unrelated plants through complex networks. The Myco-Sound-Dome project is an excellent fit for the Larry Spring Museum and Mendocino County. The Larry Spring Museum celebrates artists and makers who experiment with the boundaries of art and science; bringing this together with Mendocino’s thriving mushroom culture is really exciting. - Anne Maureen McKeating, LSM Director
In 2021 I received an invitation from the Larry Spring Museum of Common Sense Physics to be an artist-in-residence. Working with the local community in Fort Bragg and around Mendocino County, California I am installing a Myco-Sound Dome, grown from living mycelium.
Below are the events taking place around my building the Myco-Sound Dome.
Please reach out to me via email if you have any questions about the workshops, Roundtable, and Myco-Dome!
The Larry Spring Museum of Common Sense Physics:
Lorenz 'Larry' Spring (1915-2009) was a freethinker who dedicated much of his life to an alternative analysis of electromagnetic energy. Larry Spring aspired to simplify the complex phenomena described by mathematical theory. “Let the Energy be your Teacher” was his common sense mantra.
Please visit the museum website for further info- super curious!
For the Myco-Sound Dome I decided to go with Magidome nodes rather than printing them out myself due to time restrictions. The Mycotecture dome will work with 4' lumber, creating a 5.5' (centre height) space. The dome will be grown and constructed within a 10'x10' booth/tent on the museum's land, the tent is to protect the mycelium from weather, and potential contamination during its various growth stages. Ganoderma lucidum is the fungal species being utilised.
The Myco-Sound Dome is generously supported through funding from the California Arts Council, Grown with Ecovative.
Chaos fungorum 22: Do Mushrooms Dream of Electric Humans?
Saturday October 22, 12 PM.
Roundtable at 3 PM
The Myco-Sound Dome unveiling, Fungi Fair & Roundtable
In 1747, Carl Linnaeus, known as the "father of taxonomy," observed that the seeds of fungus moved in water like fish until "..by a law of nature thus far unheard of and surpassing all human understanding..," they changed back to plant in their adult life.
Linnaeus proceeded to include fungi in the new genus of "Chaos."
The title is also a spin on the Philip K Dick novel, Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep, later made into the movie Blade Runner. In Blade Runner, the Androids, known as Replicants, turned out to be emotionally human, even more aware than their makers, yet sadly enslaved by them.
I am thinking of the research into Fungal Action Potential, "talking fungi," and other investigations into fungal mycelium being (and becoming) living circuits, fungal computers, and where this may lead us as humans. Human-centric design often utilizes nonhuman, beyond-human species (Ai) to their detriment. These thought lines made me recall a profound suggestion regarding my explorations into fungi, to view these organisms as Extraterrestrial, perhaps a method of collaborating with an alien species!
Chaos Fungorum 22 draws on the particular position occupied by fungi: neither plant nor animal, fungi extend across. They can entertain communications and collaborations between nonhuman and human realms beyond "Human-centred."
Letting the nonhuman speak is to move away from an anthropocentric approach to the world. It not only opens to new rewarding artistic practices but also fosters new ideas of sustainable coexistence, unusual life collaborations and adaptations, new forms of communication and languages, and towards making Kin. Chaos, indeed. -Tosca Terán
Workshops & Events
Democratizing mushroom cultivation: Fungal bio-materials
Saturday, September 24, 1-3pm
Free workshop, space is limited please register here,
Everyone knows fungi from mouldy bread and decomposing trees. Still, few people know that fungi are also the perfect material to be utilized as a sustainable substitute for traditional and often environmentally unfriendly products. In this workshop, artist Tosca Terán will introduce participants to the fantastic potential of mycelium for collaboration at the intersection of art and science. Participants will learn how to cultivate mycelium affordably as a bio-material and/or food. Sterile and non-sterile techniques will be discussed.
Midnight Mushroom Music performance with Nanotopia!
Friday October 7, 2022 6:30PM lift-off
Doors open at 6PM, Tempeh Burgers will be served from the Riverboat
Suggested donation $5 Let us know you're coming!
From the Midnight Mushroom Music archives, the Mycelium Martian Dome to fungi-controlled VR experiences, Nanotopia construct soundscapes and installations involving biodata-sonification of fungi, drawing awareness to the destruction of our oceans, breathable air, and shared environment. How even the very act of observing a thing changes that thing forever.
This evening, Tosca Terán brings us into the future past as she fires up her myco-synth and performs alongside her fungi friend, Ganoderma lucidum.
Audio and visuals controlled by living fungal mycelium. Kick-back as the sun sets over the pacific during this special northern California exclusive, quadraphonic performance.
Multi-species entanglements: Sculpting with Mycelium
Saturday, October 1, 1-3pm
Suggested donation: $20
Space is limited please register here,
Sculpting and forming with living mycelium!
The process of cultivating and working with living mycelium, various substrates and nutrients are discussed and demonstrated.
Each participant creates a mycelium form that they can take home with them and observe its growth over several days as it transforms into a functional object, along with a kit of materials they may later explore.
In this workshop, artist Tosca Terán introduces participants to the fantastic potential of mycelium for collaboration at the intersection of art and science. Participants will learn how to cultivate mycelium affordably as a bio-material and turn their kitchens and closets into safe, mini-Mycelium bio-labs.
Suggestions and inspirations for working with mycelium and various armatures (3D printed, hand-knit/crocheted, wood structures, etc.) will be discussed.
From industrial design, art, fashion, and architecture - the possibilities are seemingly endless!
Making Contact: Biodata-Sonification & Soundwalk foray
Saturday, October 15th, 10AM to 3PM
Suggested donation: $10
Hands-on & experiential workshop - build a Contact Mic and learn about Biodata-modules, then accompany artist Tosca Terán and seasoned mushroom hunter Billy Sprague on a Soundwalk thru a local forest. Listen to trees and fungi while learning about local mushroom species! Pack a lunch and beverage.
Roundtable speakers include:
Ecovative is a biomaterials company focused on the development of materials from natural growth processes. It provides sustainable alternatives to plastics and polystyrene foams for packaging, building materials, and other applications by using mushroom technology.
Dr. Valeria La Saponara received her Bachelor’s degree in aerospace engineering from the University of Naples “Federico II”, Italy. She worked as a research fellow at the MARS Center (Microgravity Advanced Research and Support Center), Italy, a subcontractor of NASA and the European Space Agency. She then went to the U.S. and completed her Master’s and Ph.D. in 2001, both in aerospace engineering, from the Georgia Institute of Technology. She is now a tenured full professor of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering at the University of California, Davis. Most of her career has been spent on studying fossil-based materials and structures for aerospace, civil, naval and wind energy applications.
In 2016, Dr. La Saponara co-founded and was the Chief Technology Officer of a start-up company to design and build bicycle helmets for hard-to-fit children. While investigating the replacement of toxic plastics with biodegradable plastics, she learnt that the mycelial network and Paul Stamets were not just names related to Star Trek Discovery. She has been working with mycelium and biomass materials since 2019 for various projects related to environmental stewardship.
Mycoworks works at the intersection of art, design and biotechnology. Their foundations lie in an art practice built on intimate observation and design of living forms and systems. These origins fuel their deep curiosity today as engineers, scientists and producers advancing the biotechnology of Fine Mycelium to benefit the world’s supply chains and enable new design possibilities.
Eldy Lazaro is a Peruvian designer and researcher with an M.F.A. in Design from the University of California Davis. She is a PhD student at the ATLAS Institute in CU Boulder and a member of the Unstable Design Lab and Living Matter Lab. Her research areas include wearable technology, biodesign, and sustainability. She is currently researching and developing conductive biofibers for applications in electronic textiles. Previously, she was a resident at the Autodesk Technology Center in San Francisco where she extended her MFA research about the use of mycelium biocomposites for applications in product design and wearable technology using digital fabrication techniques. Eldy is a Fabricademy alumni and member of the Fab Lab Global Network.
Felicia Rice is an artist, letterpress printer, publisher, and educator. Beginning in her early teens, Felicia spent many hours foraging for mushrooms with her mother Miriam Rice, and closely followed her pioneering research in color and fungi. Although Felicia is not an active dyer, she currently heads up the IMDI, the non-profit founded by her mother in 1985, whose mission is to further the work Miriam began in her lifetime through publication of her final book, “Mushrooms for Dyes, Paper, Pigments & Myco-Stix.
Billy Sprague is a locally based mushroom hunter and artist with a deep understanding of the Pacific Northwest’s eco system. He promotes sustainability and ecological stewardship through teaching and harvesting wild plants and fungi for use as food, drink, and medicine.
Pacific Textile Arts
Pacific Textile Arts is an all-volunteer educational non-profit located in Fort Bragg that supports, shares, and celebrates the fiber arts.
Anne Beck is an artist and land looker working collaboratively & independently in a wide variety of media from paper, print & bookmaking to public intervention & social practice. Anne is a core member of The Printmakers Left, an elusive international collective working together for over 20 years on artist books, printed matter & installations. She is also half of the collaborative team behind The Rhinoceros Project exploring the communal & revolutionary power of sewing circles & hand papermaking. Recent sewing circles were at the Museum of Jurassic Technology in Los Angeles, CA, Abruzzo, Italy, and the Museo Textil de Oaxaca in Oaxaca, Mexico.