DesignTO Festival: La Planete Sauvage

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

My fascination with what makes our multispecies-selves Human and the vast, incredible world of non-Human organisms along with the possibility of collaboration – I find thoroughly exciting!

I believe every species has a language (if you will) of its own. Whether through body language/signals, eye movement, chemical, vibration or pattern, language is not always represented in word or through sounds the Human ear can perceive. My ultimate goal is to learn that other language.

During my time working with Mycelium, Physarum polycephalum, algae I have found myself moving away from the notion of death being the final end. Discovering Donna J Haraway’s philosophy and thoughts concerning Anthropocene, immediately resonated with me. Perhaps I am a Chthonic one? Or parts of myself are? Most definitely my explorations working with mycelium expand upon these questions and hopeful alignments. 

Planet Sauvage is a movie about Humans enslaved by Androids. Humans vs Technology? The Oms and the Draags. To be a wild Om.. yet, the Oms re-embrace technology to escape slavery.

I would argue that we are currently in a time where a large percentage of the Human population is enslaved by technology. Here is an interesting and insightful talk given by Jaron Lanier 

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 reacts 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.

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.