[-empyre-] rehearsal of a network - [week 1]

Shu Lea Cheang shulea at earthlink.net
Mon Jun 4 21:42:10 AEST 2018

dear -empyre-

if i may, allow me to get back to june, 2018.

question (1): why mycelium network?

question (2): why a society?

question (3): how to start a network?

mycelium as an after nature's network, to quote-

/***I believe that mycelium is the neurological network of nature. 
Interlacing mosaics of mycelium infuse habitats with information-sharing 
membranes. …..The mycelium stays in constant molecular communication 
with its environment, devising diverse enzymatic and chemical responses 
to complex challenges./ - Paul Stamets, Mycelium Running: How Mushrooms 
Can Help Save the World

/***We are stuck with the problem of living despite economic and 
ecological ruination….. Neither tales of progress nor of ruin tell us 
how to think about collaborative survival. It is time to pay attention 
to mushroom picking. Not that this will save us— but it might open our 
imaginations./ - Anna Lowenhaupt Tsing, The mushroom at the end of the 
world : on the possibility of life in capitalist ruins


The project Mycelium Network Society was inspired by artist Taro's 
myco-logick project at  infolab Stadtwerkstatt during STWST48 (a 48 
hours festival hosted by Stadtwerkstatt and in association with Ars 
Electronica) in 2015. Taro grows fabulous mushrooms sculpted by his own 
will. That year, Taro launched 2 weather balloons filled with fungal 
spores  to the stratosphere, anticipating  these balloons to expand 
while rising and finally burst at a height of approximately 30km, 
releasing the spores to continue direction outer space and/or to fall 
back on earth, where they possibly find suitable conditions to spread 
their information.

The project is a powerful poetic gesture. It prompted us to consider a 
free will network possibility, post-NET, (after) the nature. When we 
(Shu Lea Cheang of cycleX and Franz Xaver of Stadtwerkstatt ) first 
started Mycelium Network Society (MNS), we were excited to 'discover' 
many artists who work with mycilium, mushroom, spores, culture+++ as 
(art) medium. When MNS was first presented at transmediale2017, we 
showcased some artists works - myco-logick (since 2015) by Taro, 
Mycophone_unison (since 2013) by Saša Spačal, Mirjan Švagelj, Radio 
Mycelium (since 2011) by Martin Howse, The T-shroom (since 2002) by 
Kartina Neiburga and Art bureau OPEN. In this same year, we hosted a 
residency at Eleonore/STWST in Linz, Austria. We held an open call for 
artists and got some great responses,  finally selected three artists, 
Azucena Sanchez, Servando Barreiro and Callum Caplan, their residency 
works would consequently be presented at STWST48x3 in September. After 
this year's presentation/exhibition, we were referred to, introduced to 
many more artists who work with  mycelium culture matter and came to 
realize that it was not quite possible for us to keep hosting residency, 
holding exhibitions. There is also carbon matters that concern us for 
transporting artists.

Thus, the consideration - asking local art agencies to host 
residency/expositions and we connect via agencies (NODES) to build the 
network. The question arise, do we go through EU funding route? Getting 
a few organizations and launch a network, s shared platform? The recent 
network initiative example being the NEW NETWORK NORMAL, NNN (a 
partnership project by /Abandon Normal Devices 
<http://www.andfestival.org.uk/> (uk), Centre de Cultura Contemporània 
de Barcelona <http://www.cccb.org/en> (CCCB) (es), The Influencers 
<http://theinfluencers.org/en>**(es), transmediale (de) and STRP 
<https://strp.nl/en/> (nl). /We didnt take this route, (well! 
administration alone would drive us a bit insane!) , instead, we thought 
to start with writing to art spaces we know, Furtherfield in London, 
Apo33//in Nantes, FACT in Liverpool...../Then, ///In March, i had a 
chance to go back to New York for some lectures, travelling through 
Buffalo, Troy and New York city, signing on node/s /to 'adopt a 
network".I shook hands with Paul Vanouse at his Coalesce Center for 
Biological Art at the University at Buffalo, took an agreement photo 
with Ekrem, Anne, Stephanie at Squeaky, and at the Santuary for 
Independent Media , we had a public voting to sign on its Nature lab 
(directed by Kathy High) as part of MNS.

<https://www.mediasanctuary.org/>The simple guidelines apply-

(1)To adopt the network concept as art spaces/collectives/labs that host 
artist projects.
(2)To focus on artists who work with mycelium, fungus, spores as art and 
network medium.
(3)To organize workshops/residencies/exhibitions.
(4)To cultivate your own local mycelium network, independent and autonomous.
(5)To share information, resources and be part of larger global network.
(6)To harvest spores from your local mushrooms and make spore prints for 
node to node spores exchange.
(7)To collect spores towards a global spores release party.
(8)To be part of a book to be published along with the spores’ release.

And now we ask ourselves, how to get this network started? how can such 
autonomous, self managed network grow/branch out under/above ground?

Is it at all possible???


On 01/06/18 08:53, Shu Lea Cheang wrote:
> ----------empyre- soft-skinned space----------------------
> On this sunny june 1 morning -
> Thanks, renate, for inviting to me on -empyre- editorial board and for 
> the introduction to this month's launch.
> I have titled this month's topic  “rehearsal of a network” with a 
> focus on network activation, network construct, networked activism, 
> performance, leading towards some (un)imaginable scenarios for nets 
> and nets. Taking Mycelium Network Society as a starting point, we hope 
> to unfold this discussion on networks in four weeks -
> June 1-8(week 1) – mycelium network society with network nodes' 
> participants
> June 9-15 (week 2) –   networked activism and performance
> June 16-22 (week 3) –  post-Net network imagination
> June 23-30 (week 4) – proposals for speculative, tangible networks
> [flashback]
> In the 80s in New York City,  I was part of Paper Tiger TV collective. 
> By 1986, PPTV gave rise to Deep Dish TV network that takes on 
> "creating and distributing politically radical independent videos that 
> challenge the narratives of corporate media." For DDTV,  I have 
> collaborated and co-produced 'Racism on the Mainstreet" for its 
> premiere launch, followed by 'Will be Televised' (1990), a 5 part 
> series of video documents from Asia. In my art works, I have worked 
> with networked installation and performances, including Bowling alley 
> (1995, Walker art center) which connects a bowling lane in Minneapolis 
> to the gallery at Walker and WWW, then a fresh outpost; Brandon 
> (1998-1999),  one year web narrative that networks actual and virtual 
> - spaces, beings, genders and crimes. Working in collective modes, I 
> co-founded several network initiative, including TAKE2030 (since 2003) 
> which "operates in parallel net media scheme and shifts the social 
> media mission into hypermedia playing fields", LaptopsRus.me (since 
> 2009) which hosts "MEETING | REUNIÓN" inside an electronically updated 
> boxing ring for networking woman live performers.
> In the early 90s, i hitchhiked onto the superhighway, claiming my 
> homesteading and squating the cyberspace. By the early 2000, we 
> (co-curation with Armin Medosch and Yukiko Shikata) launched Kingdom 
> of Piracy, an online, open work space to explore the free sharing of 
> digital content - often condemned as piracy - as the net's ultimate 
> art form. By then, i have located much of my work in the post-netcrash 
> scenarios, i.e. Garlic=RichAir (2002-2003), in this public performance 
> project, organic garlic was ordained as new social currency,  serving 
> as "credito" for a global shared network.
> [flash forward]
> In 2017,  in association withStadtwerkstatt (Linz, Austria) and CycleX 
> (Andes, New York),  we launched  “Mycelium Network Society” (MNS) 
> (http://myceliumNS.net) at Ecologies excursion at transmediale 2017. 
> Mycelium Network Societyimagines an underground network situated in a 
> post-internet mudland. Powered by fungus, spores, culture, kitchen, 
> radio, transmission, installations, workshops and performances, MNS 
> departs from the pursuits of magic mushroom to charta state of 
> hyper-hallucination and collective fungal consciousness. As an after 
> nature’s network, MNS investigates the fungi culture,its network 
> capacity to communicate and process information. MNS commands its own 
> domain in human-disturbed forests - sprouting across the moisture of 
> rich soils, expanding its colonies, sharing informations, networking 
> co-habitants across borders. In our withered ecosphere, we seek out 
> mycelium to lead us out of the ruins, to construct political tactics, 
> to salvage economic meltdown, to persist in constant molecular 
> communication a la mycelium mode. For years 2018-2020, we propose to 
> branch out Mycelium Network Society a la franchise mode. Observing the 
> concept of distributed network, we seek out art 
> spaces/collectives/labs to participate as nodes, a node that grows and 
> connects nodes globally. We set cycle1 of network cultivating for 
> three years, from 2018 to 2020. On a giving day in 2020, we call for a 
> global action with connected nodes, to release the collected spores 
> into the stratosphere, letting them drift in blowing wind till they 
> ground themselves in the new land where cycle ll begins. so far, we 
> have these nodes signed on as part of Mycelium Network Society
> APO-33 Nantes, France
> furtherfield London, UK
> Coalesce: Center for Bilogical Art, Buffalo, USA
> Squeaky Wheel film and media art center, Buffalo, USA
> The Santuary for Independent Media | Nature Lab Troy, USA
> GENSPACE, New York City, USA
> DIMENSION PLUS, Taipei, Taiwan
> 竹圍工作室|Bamboo curtain studio Taipei, Taiwan
> With this week's discussion, we hope that more nodes will ADOPT 'MNS'.
> I am grateful that most of these nodes' directors are joining us for 
> [week 1] and also like to welcome a very special guest from Mexico, 
> Adrian Guzman.
> We begin.
> Adrian Guzman (Mexico), Biohacker concentrated in Genomics and 
> Epidemiology of Communication. Has been advisor of the Director 
> General of Inecol, one of the 27 nationalpublic research centers in 
> Mexico focused in Ecology and Agro-nanobiotechnology. Has been a 
> visiting fellow at Wyss Institute in Harvard, Centre for Bio Inspired 
> Engineering. With a BSc background in physics and artificial 
> intelligence, a BSc in Telecommunications Engineering, a Master degree 
> in Environmental Intelligence and Digital Architecture and a PhD in 
> Social Representations and Communication (office of the future, 
> anthropology of learning and cognition and food representations) his 
> interests are broad and collective. As Gaston Guzman (+) deceased, 
> collaborator. Helped to classify and update the most extensive 
> collection database of fungi in Mexico. 
> http://mushroomjohn.org/guzman1.htm
> Franz Xaver(stadtwerkstatt, Linz, Aystria) has studied at the Academy 
> of Applied Art, department of"Visual Communication" founded by Peter 
> Weibel. Subsequently he wasteaching computer languages, audio-visual 
> productions, electronics andelectrical technics at the same Academy 
> until 1992.At the Technical University of Graz he was lecturing at the 
> departure"Institut für Baukunst" "CommunicationTheory".He was 
> participating in numerous exhibitions in Austria and abroad,including 
> Ars Electronica, Aperto Biennale di Venezia, Triennale Milano,Bonn 
> Kunst und Ausstellungshalle from Germany. He directs the two 
> workspaces - Medienkunstlabor Kunsthaus Graz and STWST(Stadtwerkstatt) 
> Linz.
> http://stwst.at
> Jenny Pickett (apo33, Nantes, France) is a British artist based in 
> Nantes and member of the artists' collective APO33. Pickett’s 
> workcrosses experimental music, visual and sound arts, regularly 
> working in collaboration with Julien Ottavi and performing regularly 
> with their duo Solar Return. She creates installations, sound 
> sculptures and compositions, often ontological, philosophical or 
> scientific, her subject is articulated around complex notions related 
> to the slipping of times, cycles, identities and their memory.Pickett 
> and Ottavi were artists in residence at EMS (Electronic Music 
> Stockholm) in 2017 and she was awarded Lauréat prize for visual arts, 
> Ville de Nantes 2016.Pickett teaches drawing and sound creation at 
> École Nationale Supérieure d'Architecture de Nantes.http://apo33.org
> Julien Ottavi (apo33, Nantes, France)- A mediactivist, 
> artist-researcher, composer / musician, poet and tongues destroyer, 
> experimental film maker and anarchitect, founder and member of Apo33, 
> Julien Ottavi is involved in research and creative work, combining 
> sound art, real-time video, new technologies and body performances. 
> Since 1997, he develops a composition work using voice and its 
> transformation through computer. Active developer of audio/visual 
> programs with Puredata, he has also developed since many years DIY 
> electronics (radio transmitters, oscillators, mixers, amplifiers, 
> video transmitters…etc) in the perspective of knowledge sharing on 
> technological development. Main developer for the Gnu/Linux operating 
> system APODIO for digital art and A/V & streaming diffusion. His 
> practices is not limited to the art spheres but crosses different 
> fields from technological development to philosophy / theoretical 
> research, biomimetic analysis & experimentation. Since many years he 
> reflects on the relations between experimental practices and 
> collective practices within the creation of autonomous collective 
> groups, putting in question the authorship strategy of the “art 
> ideology”.
> Ruth Catlow (furtherfield, London, UK) is an artist who works with 
> emancipatory network cultures, practices and poetics. She is 
> co-founder and artistic director, with Marc Garrett, of Furtherfield 
> for arts, technology and social change. Furtherfield’s public 
> exhibition and lab venues in the heart of Finsbury Park, London, 
> provide a unique physical interface for free exhibitions, events and 
> workshops and an online hub provides a forum for exchange and critical 
> review. These spaces bring together diverse local cultures with 
> thriving networks of international artists, technologists and 
> activists. Recently published ‘Artists Re:thinking the Blockchain’ 
> with Marc Garrett, Nathan Jones, and Sam Skinner 2017.
> Marc Garrett (furtherfield, London, UK) is co-director and co-founder, 
> with artist Ruth Catlow of the arts collective Furtherfield, in 
> Finsbury Park, London. Has curated over 50 contemporary Media Arts 
> exhibitions, projects nationally and internationally. Curated the 
> renowned major exhibition Monsters of the Machine: Frankenstein in the 
> 21st Century, at Laboral, Spain. Main editor of the Furtherfield web 
> site. Written for various books and articles about art, technology and 
> social change. Recently published ‘Artists Re:thinking the Blockchain’ 
> with Ruth Catlow, Nathan Jones, and Sam Skinner 2017. Currently in the 
> last year of Phd at the University of London, Birkbeck College.
> http://furtherfield.org
> Paul Vanouse (Coalesce: Center for Bilogical Art, Buffalo, USA) is a 
> Professor of Art and Director of the Coalesce Center for Biological 
> Art at the University at Buffalo. Interdisciplinarity and impassioned 
> amateurism guide his art practice. His biological and interactive 
> media projects have been exhibited in over 25 countries and widely 
> across the US. His recent projects, “Latent Figure Protocol”, “Ocular 
> Revision”, “Suspect Inversion Center” and “America Project” use 
> molecular biology techniques to challenge “genome-hype” and to engage 
> issues surrounding DNA fingerprinting, particularly the idea the most 
> authoritative image of our time, the DNA fingerprint, is somehow 
> natural.He has a BFA from the University at Buffalo and an MFA from 
> Carnegie Mellon University. http://www.buffalo.edu/gem/coalesce
> Anna Scime (in association with Coalesce)is an internationally 
> exhibited media artist, whose recent solo and group screenings and 
> exhibitions include: Burchfield Penney Art Center (Buffalo), Berlin 
> International Directors Lounge (Berlin), Centro Cultural Borges 
> (Buenos Aires), Detroit Independent Film Festival (Detroit), FLORA 
> ars+natura (Bogotá), Kuala Lumpur Experimental Film,and PS1 MoMA 
> (NYC). Her documentary work has been broadcast nationally and 
> published throughout the web on Free Speech TV, PhillyCAM and 
> ArtGrease. She has received awards for her work including fellowships 
> from ARTS Council of the Southern Finger Lakes and The New York State 
> Council of the Arts (NYSCA) among others. She was very much part of 
> the cultural ecosystem in Buffalo, serving as interim Executive 
> Director at Squeaky Wheel (2015-2016), working with community arts 
> nonprofits, like the Buffalo International Film Festival. She is also 
> Lumiflux Media’s Executive Director, and since 2013 has worked to 
> ensure that the organization sustainably stewards a dynamic roster of 
> media productions.http://www.a--a.org/
> Stephanie Rothenberg’s ((in association with Coalesce) 
> interdisciplinary artworks make visible the physical and imaginary 
> networks that create technological utopias. Moving between real and 
> virtual spaces, she explores how new technologies mediate our everyday 
> experiences and connect us to larger global systems. Her artworks that 
> engage digital media, plant life and networks have been exhibited in 
> venues including House of Electronic Arts (HeK), MASS MoCA, LABoral, 
> Sundance Film Festival, Transmediale and ZKM. She is a recipient of 
> numerous grants and awards including a Creative Capital. Residencies 
> include the LMCC Workspace program, Eyebeam and the Santa Fe Art 
> Institute. Her work is in the collection of the Whitney Museum and has 
> been widely reviewed including Artforum, The Brooklyn Rail and 
> Hyperallergic. Rothenberg received her MFA from The School of the Art 
> Institute of Chicago. She is Associate Professor and Director of 
> Graduate Studies in the Department of Art at SUNY Buffalo. 
> http://www.stephanierothenberg.com
> Ekrem Serdar (Squeaky Wheel film and media art center, Buffalo, USA) 
> is the curator for Squeaky Wheel, responsible for the organization’s 
> exhibitions, public programming, and artist residencies. Previously, 
> he was a programmer with Experimental Response Cinema (Austin, TX) 
> which he co-founded. He is the recipient of a Curatorial Fellowship 
> from the Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts (2017), a SAHA 
> Scholarship for the ICI Curatorial Intensive New Orleans (2017), and a 
> Professional Development Fellowship from the Robert Flaherty Film 
> Seminar (2015). He is an advisory member of Experimental Response 
> Cinema, and the FOL Cinema Society (Istanbul). His writing has 
> appeared in /The Brooklyn Rail/, /Millennium Film Journal/, 
> /5harfliler/, among others. He completed his B.A. in Critical Studies, 
> and his M.F.A in Media Arts Production at the Department of Media 
> Study at SUNY Buffalo. He is from Ankara, Turkey. http://squeaky.org
> Kathy High (nature lab, Troy, USA) is an artist / educator who 
> collaborates with scientists and others, and considers living 
> systems, eco-empathy and animal sentience, and the social, political 
> and ethical dilemmas of biotechnology and medical industries. She has 
> received awards including Guggenheim Memorial Foundation and National 
> Endowment for the Arts. High is Professor in Arts, and oversees a lab 
> in Center for Biotechnology and Interdisciplinary Studies at 
> Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Troy, NY.  She is NATURE Lab 
> coordinator with community media organization, The Sanctuary for 
> Independent Media. She is Vivo Art resident at Center for Microbiome 
> Sciences & Therapeutic, DePaolo Lab, UofW, Seattle. 
> https://www.mediasanctuary.org/
> _______________________________________________
> empyre forum
> empyre at lists.artdesign.unsw.edu.au
> http://empyre.library.cornell.edu

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