(my mycelium test 1)
Inspired by the mesh-like particle system coding pieces from the class Nature of Code, my first thought is to use mycelium as a material to create a bio generative art.
The coding outcome and mycelium share some similarities in appearance:
If I were to do so, how I mix substrates and spawns properly in order to let mycelium grow exactly as how it’s wrote in code would be a big challenge. The experiment on this issue would focus on –
1.Test it on a flat platform to observe how mycelium grow and spread in certain pattern
2. Reconsider and test the ratio of spawns and substrates
3.Design the “route” of spawns
What’s more, as mycelium needs to grow in a dim environment, it would also be essential to place it in a dark space and applied particular light which allows it to be visible for observation but does no disturbance to mycelium at the same time.
My second thought was inspired by the fungi mutarium prototype, which concept was to let edible fungi degrade plastic and finally be eaten by human, I want to build a sustainable cycle in which after fungi digested trash, it would be burnt to ashes in the form of a mycelium candle.
01. trash + fungi
Apart from coffe-grounds or oat straw, what kind of fungi can degrade and eat real harmful trash like plastic and how to get it?
02. wax + fungi + fabrication
The final form of the mycelium candle should look nice that people would love to purchase it for real. Inspired by the organic texture of the outcome of our mycelium test, I think dyeing mycelium or soywax in a marble-like or water color way might be a nice approach.
The next question would be – to dye/color substrates before it grow or do it afterwards.During research I found a fungus experiment from this class in 2015, done by Arielle Hein and Pamela Liou, in which they did bunches of tests on dying mycelium as well as growing mycelium with beeswax. They found out that dyeing before it grew might be a better option and it is also possible to grow mycelium with beeswax.(I’d love to try soywax as it is the main ingredient which is used in making scented candle)
(photo credit to Arielle Hein)
03. the combustion
Is it safe to burn mycelium? It’s possible that during the combustion some toxic gas might be released or, luckily enough, some good gas(maybe dye it with natural pigment with healing effect)?