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Indeterminate Romance post #6: fungi and digital decomposition

Over the past three years I have been exploring fungi as a way to think through formal indeterminacy in relation to human embodiment. Mycelia, the web-like filaments that constitute the fungal organism (the mushrooms are the fruiting bodies/modes of reproduction) can take any shape and size and are effectively immortal so long as they are not destroyed. Comparisons have been drawn between mycelia and neural nets. It has been proposed that fungi are creatures that live in the imagination.

As a dancer who has come up through the contemporary dance traditions of Steve Paxton and later the teachings of Frey Faust à la Kelly Keenan, I am most struck by the uncanny similarity between mycelia and fascia, and I am curious about fascia as having its own type of indeterminacy, if only an imagined one. Over the past 4 years I have been dealing with a couple of chronic and mysterious injuries and have come into close contact with ideas about reshaping fascial networks in the hopes of rehabilitation and regaining functionality of movement.

I have long had the desire to see fungi growing from the skin and 3D modelling has allowed me to bring that desire to fruition. In this short animation I am exploring ideas of decomposition and fungal growth, the way that mycelia reconstitute matter into something new and limitless. I love this idea of body transformation through disintegration and reorganization of microbes and fungi, the webs of the body enmeshing with new webs of life. I wonder about the transmutation of consciousness through these types of transformations: perhaps a gentle flooding of animate awareness and discrete embodiment into diffusion and imagination spread throughout the earth below forests, reaching like fingers into the matrices of leaves, felled trees, and the flesh of dead animals.


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