DesignTO Festival: La Planete Sauvage

‘La Planete Sauvage’ takes place in a speculative future construct where non-human-centred design flourishes.

I view my research as a collaborative effort with the non-human entities I touch, caress, grow. Having ‘minds’ of their own, my current work explores sculpting forms with living mycelium. The sculptures self-assemble in forms over weeks, while some I hand sculpt using specially formulated nutrients.

With electrodes placed onto the mycelium bodies, electrical impulses are picked-up and sent through bio-sonification modules that translate the bio-data to midi. I bring the midi signals into analogue and digital synthesizers to collaborate musically with the mycelium. Empirically, when fully connected and music is being generated, mycelium seems to consistently generate periodic patterns that are both enigmatic but also very musical to my ear. Mycelium also seems to be particularly sensitive to the presence of people. For reasons that I do not fully understand, the mycelium react to the proximity of some people more than others.

Anthropomorphizing the mycelium by creating these special structures for DesignTO, will visitors be attracted or repulsed and in turn, how will the sculptures respond to the humans viewing them?

Thank you InterAccess and the Ontario Arts Council for your generous support through Exhibition Assistance.

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