Not only neurons produce spikes in electricity. Many mycelia communicate environmental changes through their vast underground networks, using complex trains of electrical activity. This workshop will explore counter imaginaries of AI through practical experiments in growing mycelium, connecting to its neural like spikes in electrical activity using cheap accessible equipment, considering how mushrooms could serve as tangible indicators of intensity of environmental changes and question evolutionary concepts central the current discourse on Artificial Intelligence. The workshop will be accompanied by a series of meditations on becoming Octopus by Maggie Roberts 0rthan Drift (virtual presence). Becoming Octopus aim’ s to transport the meditator into the body, sensory attributes, and liquid environment of a Common Octopus. This involves prioritising the senses of touch and taste; processing reality with 8 arms and a central processing unit simultaneously; flowing the outside through the insides and camouflaging the body to become the ground using an array of colour effects and protean skin textures. The experience will combine meditation techniques, communications with an octopus and expanding human perception to engage with multidimensional being – all in response to the current uncertainty and extended temporality we find ourselves in.
Workshop attendees will take home their own seeded mycelium network and electronics.