Interference Spores // Becoming Octopus

Sat 15 Jul | 2:00 pm – 4:00 pm

It is not only neurons which produce spikes in electricity; mycelia communicate environmental changes through their vast underground networks, using complex trains of electrical activity.

Multi-disciplinary artists John Wild and Shira Wachsmann lead this thought-provoking, insightful and hands-on workshop, in which they dissect the philosophies and practical methodologies behind their installation piece Interference Spores (SEASON Gallery June 2023) – integrating analogue and digital electronics into an organic mycelial network to produce a living, thinking, and interactively performing sound sculpture.

This workshop will explore counter-imaginaries of AI through practical experiments in growing mycelium – connecting to its neural-like spikes in electrical activity using affordable and accessible technology – 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 aka 0rphan Drift (virtual presence). Becoming Octopus aims 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 eight 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.

Limited to 8 participants. Workshop attendees will take home their own seeded mycelium network and electronics.