Mushrooms have long been a motif that has fascinated me- their place in the ecosystem as decomposes makes them the “life after death,” which feels nearly religious. When deciding what to do for my final project I considered Assignment 3 A (Trans-species Growth)- but rather than micro fungi growth I considered the possibility of growing full sized mushrooms out of a (wooden) sculpture- theoretically carved at life scale by a robotic carving machine.
To accomplish this project, I first sculpted a figure in the traditional “T-pose,” which I then rigged and posed as I wished. I used the hand model I created in project 2 (Anthropocentric Stalactites), and for the final figures, I used my own head which was scanned with photogrammetry
If this project were a real-life realized art exhibition, it would have to take place in a greenhouse because most mushrooms require heat and humidity to grow properly. The art exhibit would be installed in place and left to “grow”- over time, the mushrooms would decompose more and more of the sculptures until the human features would become unrecognizable beneath the mushroom carpet, mirroring the natural process of remains decomposition.
Like with my second project, Anthropocentric Stalactites, I created a customized frame for this project. I did so by traditional sculpting mushrooms in paper clay, which I painted and applied to the frame. The wood and mushrooms of the frame mirror the ones in the piece itself, in a way, bringing what is a theoretical project into the real world.