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Symbiont::MyceliOhms

The Lab at the Art Gallery of Greater Victoria, BC

 March 25 thru October 29, 2023

Opening reception live, quadraphonic performance, March 25

https://aggv.ca/exhibits/upcoming/symbiosis/

A mixed reality experience bio-electrically guided by living mycelium. 

Symbiont::MyceliOhms is a hyphal node of SymbioGenesis.

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. 

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Locally sourced fungal mycelium connects to the Symbiont experience. The living mycelium creates a speculative forest soundscape and interacts with projected, generative visual data by sending its bio-electrical energy through analogue and digital synthesizers. 

Humans connect with the living fungi through touch-pad-enabled sculptural objects and through visiting a microbial, virtual forest. The more Humans connect with the microbial forest, their vision alters, and they see their true nature as Symbiont, their entanglements and connection with the fungal mycelium and forest biome. Forest communication, forest sentience = MyceliOhms. 

 

During the live performance, guests will experience Nanotopia, and the space around them transform as the living mycelium brings the gallery deeper into the Wood Wide Web. 

 

AR elements within the installation and live performance activate through Suminagashi* markers made with mushroom inks and Geo-locative markers. 

  

*Suminagashi 墨 流 し or "floating ink" is the process of marbling plain paper with water and ink to transform it into something vibrant and colourful. It originated in Japan as early as the 12th century. Suminagashi resembles tree rings and tree bark.

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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:

  • Parasitism

  • Mutualism

  • Commensalism

  • Amensalism

  • Synnecrosis

  • Neutralism

 

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. One question he poses I share here is, What if humans accept the story that we are part of a greater, collective living ecological interbeing that includes all other life on our planet? 
Here's a link to the full publication I urge you to read it,

https://irp-cdn.multiscreensite.com/891f98f6/files/uploaded/EdMuse-14-2.pdf

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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 com
munication. 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.  

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.” 

Connor Glinski, in his article Song of the Mushrooms for Mushroom UK, mentions MyceliOhms; however, he meant Mycelia- the VRC project collaboration between myself and MetaCrew South Africa.

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