MYcorrhizal is an extended-reality sonic experience mapping an interconnection between mycelium and beings. A duet of worlds between data signals, entities and scales of existence. Audiences can encounter and influence the sonic ecosystem around them, and reflect upon their role in the acoustic ecology of the spaces we exist within.
The installation is inspired by the mycorrhizal bridges that exist within the forests of our Earth; connecting root, mycelium, and organism, enabling the recourse distribution of data, nutrients and memory. Visitors are invited to consider the ways we can become consciously entangled within these worlds. In what ways do we as beings already influence the worlds that exist around us? What traces do we leave behind?
Through sound we can traverse temporally to worlds and species that on our human scale are seemingly invisible. Through revealing the acoustic ecologies around us and hearing the effects our traces leave, can we form our own mycorrhizal connections?
Presented at the centre is a quadraphonic sonic sculpture, emitting fragments of an ecosystem combined with mycelium electrical spiking activity collected by Professor Andrew Adamatzky*. A global soundscape surrounds taking the sonic data of the ecosystem, the mycelium impulses and the live tracking of CO2 levels in the exhibit space to produce an evolving, learning, sonic landscape. By employing machine learning to integrate these different data sources, the generative soundscape is transformed by the passive and active interactions of the audience, including their breath and touch on the textile. The piece utilises spatialisation not only as a compelling storytelling tool but as a way to extend the reality of the generative ecosystem demonstrated.
* FUNGAR. (2021). Datasets of recordings of electrical activity of substrates colonised by oyster fungi P. ostreatus and P. djamor. [Data set].
Laura Selby, Yueshen Wu, Devanshi Rungta