"It was when I started to learn how to grow mushrooms. The initial impulse was to figure out how to grow reishi mushrooms as medicine, but when I started cultivating them and learned their growth habits, I immediately wanted to work with them as an art material– a casting material. It was a casting material that could be altered as it was setting. In casting, the amount of time you can work with the material before it sets is called “open time.” In plaster that might be five minutes, and in cement it might be a couple hours. But with mushrooms, the open time is almost as long as you can keep them alive. You can start to think about plasticity and forming things through much more subtle encouragement. The shapes can be controlled via the environment: the temperature, the position in relation to gravity, all these things that we take for granted, but are profound shapers of the world. You can begin to play with these factors and use them as non-physical tools of manipulation. Light, gravity, heat and the cleanliness of the environment determine the form, as opposed to a chisel or a drill or something like that."
"Glowing mushrooms are rare but they do exist outside the psychedelic world. This phenomenon is known as bioluminescence and can only be seen in the complete darkness of the jungle night."
Photograph by Robin Loznak
"Light shines through the gills of a wild mushroom found growing in a damp, forested area near Elkton, Oregon."
Written by Warsaw Film Festival
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