DARKbody

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DARKbody

A WishingDARK project

“This business of the dark is plump and ripe and juicy.

But there is also slow time, tree time, earth time and mushroom dreaming.”

Julie Vulcan

 

An audio and site work developed for Wired Open Day 2017 as part of the ‘agri(culture)’ project

Humans are sandwiched between literal darkness, the things that exist under our feet below the earth’s surface and the cosmic world beyond the earth’s unique atmosphere. The daily activities that enact in the dark around us, are an intricate ecology that are essential to our ongoing-ness within a multi-species world.

What is this business of the dark?

In DARKbody, an aspect of this is explored via the rich underground terrain of fungi and its essential data network mycelium. This dark mycelium body spreads like a magic carpet below our feet, an information web occasionally bursting through the surface to form a constellation of fruit bodies, which we commonly call mushrooms. Fungi make up the third natural kingdom and are more closely related to animals than to plants. They make life possible for plants and therefore animals on earth. DARKbody plays on associations with life and death. The underground is a space humans often relate to as a place of burial yet it is equally an active and alive space and plays host to one of the largest life-giving bodies.

Participants are invited to lie against the side of one of three mounds constructed by the artist. An audio headset and soil eyebag are placed on each person. The mounds are made from organic materials which are advantageous to mycelium. They will break down slowly over time and provide nutrients into the soil. Each mound has a soil window viewer that displays active mycelium within its substrate.

We are about to go on a journey

It is a short one

But in a different time it is very long

 

 

Installation, objects and text: Julie Vulcan

Sound designer: Ashley Scott

 

“That was the best documentary I have ever seen in my head”

DARKbody participant Wired Open Day

 

“…an immersion chamber with headphones and sonorous, wry narrative of descent into sleeping pits in the earth. It is a contemplative sound-dive into a recited tale of “humans sandwiched between literal darkness above and beneath us” – of scotobiology (the biology of darkness) as affective encounter with non-human agency.”

Dr Neill Overton – Wired Open Day Festival’s agri-cultural magic Realtime 22/11/2017

 

This work has been made possible through The Wired Lab and the ‘agri(culture)’ project. Big thanks to Sarah Last and Anna Schoo.

Much respect and thanks also go to

Charlie Arnott who hosted me at Hanaminno, introduced me to his approaches to ‘being with’ and ‘working with’ the land along with various experimental practices and for supplying some of the raw materials that went into the site build.

Ian Chu from Majestic Mushrooms for showing me around his working site, for shared fungi enthusiasm and for supplying me with a large quantity of raw material for the site build.