AIRspace Projects, Sydney, 3-19 June 2022
LISTEN to ‘Shroom
“It would be as absurd to refuse consciousness to an animal because it has no brain as to declare it incapable of nourishing itself because it has no stomach.” Henri Bergson
How can we speculate and think about consciousness ecologically? Perhaps the full story of intelligence is that of the never-yet-heard, the never listened to, the always denied and the never seen-for-itself – those whose ways of being in the world are routinely dismissed. Fungi are relational: sensitive to sound, electrical pulses, vibration, humidity & temperature and pollution. They are always in the middle of something: joining, relating, feeling the world, but they are undervalued, undetermined, underfoot: soft and malleable intelligences emerging, whispering, growing the cracks, shying away from the light. What happens if we begin to pay attention to other intelligences, to tune into their rhythms rather than demand they perform for and like us? What happens if we think with fungal tendencies and begin to value their slowness and tend to their fungal modes of thought?
This project was made possible by generous contributions from Tony Falla (technical assistance and prototyping), Jim Sosnin (component construction), and Damon Meredith (mushroom wrangling), and was assisted financially by two internal research grants from La Trobe University.