Fungus and Flesh
I have developed a simple experimental home lab growing fungi from spawn cultures and use photographic and time-lapse video to record their morphogenesis.This a technically unsophisticated approach to growing and translating natural phenomena as emergent sculptural form. I am linking shapes to human embryonic growth.
Witnessing the cellular growth process of fungi as their generations bleed through a surface and turn into a texture of flesh is both enchanting and uncanny. Thread like cells, hyphae form a subterranean, branched, mycelium web. They grow without light or chlorophyll and cannot absorb carbon dioxide from the air.
In nature, fungi appear mostly in autumn, the season of decay when their ecological function is to bring about dissolution. This saprophytic aspect of fungi and their look and shape and skin like membranes - the warts and patches - the veils and gills - the cavities and phallic shaped fingers defy the classifying intellect. Fungi have large cells with a membrane bound nuclei that exhibit complex gravity. They seem to appear haphazardly the rhizormorpic web spreads through the soil and over the surface the host, keeping an organic connection. During the growth process the opposing forces of entropy and growth visually compete and their flesh is seen to pass through strange transformations simultaneously expressing life and decay.
John Cage, Composer and Mycolologist
For the Birds