Hybrid Worlds Fungi Midterm Crews


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This is a presentation for my Hybrid Worlds class at Parsons. The project deals with using mushrooms for ecological restoration and art fusions with an eye towards how mushrooms can be used in innovative and new ways.

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Hybrid Worlds Fungi Midterm Crews

  1. 1. Nano.Bio + Art 1 Mycotechnology: The Fungi Kingdom and chris crews PhD student | Political Theory Natural Technology New School for Social Research
  2. 2. Hyb Worlds: Nano.Bio + Art rid 2 Abstract This project seeks to bring emerging practices in the field of mycotechnology together with experimental art design to create an edible and ecologically friendly bioart project. The basic outline for this proposal involves creating a series of sculptures which can serve as a simple scaffolding in which inoculated mushroom spawn can colonize and fruit. The primary sculpture materials to be used are recycled, corrugated cardboard, used coffee grounds and natural burlap bags. These three materials will serve as the primary substrate into which the inoculated spawn will be added and grown. The entire process will be documented and, if possible, will include a gourmet meal featuring the grown mushrooms.
  3. 3. Hyb Worlds: Nano.Bio + Art rid 3 Concept Show how urban permaculture --here using mycotechnology--can convert waste materials from the home into mushrooms. Demonstrate waste reduction with eco- friendly technology. Explore how mushrooms function as a hybrid species that have multiple interfaces into our daily lives: art, science, medicine, food, ecology, spirituality. Theorize how posthumanism, seen from a “mycelial perspective,” can create a more holistic and ecologically intelligent world.
  4. 4. Hyb Worlds: Nano.Bio + Art rid 4 Social Context All around us, visible and invisible, is a massive Fungi Kingdom. We eat mushrooms, use them for medicine, experiment with them in labs, ingest them for ritual and spiritual purposes, and honor them in word and image. Fungi plays a critical role in the world by helping to break down organic materials, toxins and essential minerals not readily available otherwise in the natural environment, and are major players in bio/geo/chemical cycles on our planet.
  5. 5. Hyb Worlds: Nano.Bio + Art rid 5 Applied Mycotechnology Mycotechnology is an emerging field which focuses on the use of mushrooms for ecological restoration, often tied in with the ideas of permaculture. Some of these projects include: Mycorestoration: Using mushrooms to rebuild depleted soils, break down industrial toxins and support natural ecosystems. Mycoforestry: Using mushrooms to rebuild forest soils, stop erosion and soil slippage, and establish symbiotic soil networks. Mycoremediation: Using mushrooms to rebuild soil mass, nutrient networks and re-establish an optimal soil structure. Mycofiltration: Using mushrooms to reduce industrial runoff, agricultural stream pollution, and overabundant microbial activity in stream and water bodies.
  6. 6. Hyb Worlds: Nano.Bio + Art rid 6 Mycotechnology Examples ➢ Mushrooms used to break down and detoxify oil spills ➢ Mushrooms used to sequester carbon from atmosphere ➢ Mushrooms used as biological filters for stream restoration ➢ Mushrooms used as natural insecticide against certain insects ➢ Mushroom compost for added nutrient cycling and soil structure Ecuadorian oil cleanup site Oil spill remediation project Logging road rehabilitation
  7. 7. Hyb Worlds: Nano.Bio + Art rid 7 Mushroom Bioart This project involved three main stages: 1) Substrate and Materials Setup ➢ Collecting cardboard/paper, coffee grounds and burlap ➢ Ordering mushroom spawn and lab supplies Cardboard/paper waste Used coffee grounds Burlap bag materials
  8. 8. Hyb Worlds: Nano.Bio + Art rid 8 Mushroom Bioart 2) Spawning and Sculpture Design ➢ Sketches for sculpture and timeline for spawning/fruiting ➢ Mushroom spawning stage initiated
  9. 9. Hyb Worlds: Nano.Bio + Art rid 9 Mushroom Bioart 3) Fruiting and Hybridization ➢ Initiating mushroom pinning and fruiting ➢ Merging living mushrooms and created art together + = Russell the Texas (Cube) Bear, a similar project using bioart.
  10. 10. Hyb Worlds: Nano.Bio + Art rid 10 Conclusion Mushrooms are a fascinating species, in part, because of how little we understand about them in relation to their proliferation around the world. Whether in art or food, medicine or ritual, forest decomposition or toxic waste recovery, mushrooms find a way to thrive and multiply in almost any environment. The many benefits which mycotechnology has demonstrated, as well as the many new uses still being developed and studied, suggests that mushrooms have a potential to radically change our world and our technology if we approach them properly. In order to fully appreciate the power of the Fungi Kingdom, we need to adopt a “mecelial perspective” of the world and its vast interconnections, or what Paul Stamets calls the natural Internet.
  11. 11. Hyb Worlds: Nano.Bio + Art rid 11 References Deacon, Jim. Fungal Biology. Oxford: Blackwell Publishing. 2006. FUNGI magazine. Richfield: FUNGI. 2010. Lincoff, Gary H. Field Guide to North American Mushrooms. New York: Alfred A. Knopf. 1981. McKnight, Kent H. and Vera B. McKnight. New York: Houghton Mifflin. 1987. Mycotechnology. <http://www.fungi.com/mycotech/index.html>. Stamets, Paul and J.S. Chilton. A Practical Guide to Growing Mushrooms at Home. Olympia: Agarikon Press. 1983. Stamets, Paul. Growing Gourmet and Medicinal Mushrooms. Berkeley: Ten Speed Press. 2000.
  12. 12. Hyb Worlds: Nano.Bio + Art rid 12 References Stamets, Paul. Mycelium Running: How Mushrooms Can Help Save the World. Berkeley: Ten Speed Press. 2005. Stamets, Paul. “6 Ways Mushrooms Can Save the World”. TED Talk. Feb., 2008. <http://www.ted.com/talks/view/id/258>. Shroomery. Mushroom Growers Forum. 3.25.2010. <http://www.shroomery.org/4/Grow-Mushrooms>.