Mycælium is a personal urban art project growing mushrooms in the street from an invisible, artistic mycelium linking different places, through 3D printed and spray painted models and posters. Besides the obvious lack of natural elements and the overdose of grey these mushrooms can fight in most cities, they are a metapher for an ethos linked to the fascinating specifics of the mushroom kingdom.
           Indeed, neither animals, plants, minerals nor bacteria, still shrouded in mystery as science does not yet know much about them, they defy many human thoughts about life: they have a diverse array of reproduction methods, from asexual cloning to a world record of 30.000 sexes (why would anyone have a problem with intersexuation and transgenders when you see THAT), they can sustain life and mercilessly feed on death, and they come in literally every shape and colour. No discrimination all the way. Speaking of sex, with their often phallic appearance, they are also culturally associated to fertility or at least virility.
        Also, we wouldn't have the forests we have without them, as they were allegedly the first living organisms on land, breaking down minerals, and paving the way for the vegetal colonisation of continents, that allowed all the other terrestrial animals (including us) to thrive. Even today, trees exchange nutrients and information about incoming threats through the most beautiful symbiosis, called mycorrhiza: the hidden part of the fungi iceberg, the underground network called the mycelium, is acting much like the Internet and the welfare-state of the forests. And there's more! Some of them, virtually invisible, living on the leaves, can help trees to resist droughts, floods, hurricanes, starvation and pathogens. Hey humans, how's that for taking care of your ecosystem by being a productive part of it?


          Above is "Memento Vivere", a huge 180cm tall piece that made it to the streets. Besides the healthy and diverse gang of mushrooms you see, there's two other aspects that are evoked here: death and magic.
          Death, as fungi processes and digests the dead, feeding and making room the living, becoming a kind of ferryman at the crossrads of the cycle that goes from Eros to Thanatos. But also in a more dreadful way: besides the usual parasitic mushrooms that can become an incurable and deadly disease to other animals and plants, we have the terrifying ophiocordyceps unilateralis, a mushroom that colonises ants' bodies and even pop through their heads like an unholy antenna, and turn them into literal zombies that will work untill dead for the the fungus' survival.
          Magic, as in a worldwide cultural phenomenon that make the elusive, seemingly popping out of nowhere and much psychedelic fungi a magic being that connects us to the unseen, from Alice's Adventures in Wonderland to the universal shaman starter-kit. This psychotropic aspect even made Terence McKenna think that the bolstered creativity, synesthesia, etc., acquired through mushrooms can have had a crucial part in the development of the human brain / mind / creativity / abstraction / artistry. It's quite crazy, but not absurd at all.


          Rather than hiding the texture that comes with 3D printing, I chose a voxel (3D pixel) style that would actually emphasize the layered flavour of the technique (Magica Voxel & Cura).

A report on my street art practice

This one was put up Urban Spree in Berlin and stayed roughly one day up until someone took them down...


          Above: a preview of how I intended to frame the unique art original art made for exhibitions.
Below: life goes on as the first casualty among the cutie geeky shrooms happened alongside the yellow jackets' strikes.         


          Lastly, meet the deathly cigarette butt, going further with the environmental aspect started with the mushrooms, reminding people that the ones they throw away eventually end up overpopulating the seas and killing an incredible amount of much needed marine life.



Taking that voxel mushroom exploration out of the streets:

Mycælium
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Mycælium

A street art project involving 3D printed and poster mushrooms, a cigarette butt, life, death, magic and psychedelics, and some diversity and env Read More
172
1,683
16
Published:

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