Approaching the Inexplicable

Nik Gaffney & Martin Howse

Fungal patterns, fairy-ringed; chatter and crackles on the radio spectrum.

Edited extracts from Approaching the Inexplicable

In the slow swarm of light they remain silent, luminous. Eyes in the place of eyes, ears in the place of ears, tongues tasting chemical gradients across the fungal network of thread-like cells. A truly underground communications network, spreading through the vastness of earth substrate, acting with ecosystem intelligence to form interfaces across symbiotic networks of root chatter.

A mycelial network has no organs to move the world, no hands; but higher animals with manipulative abilities can become partners with the star knowledge within me and if they act in good faith, return both themselves and their humble mushroom teacher to the million worlds all citizens of our starswarm are heir to.

Terence McKenna, The Mushroom Speaks

The forest smell of earth-veiled mycelium; observation of patterns, fairy-ringed, white bulbous mushroom growth, and the first taste of the peeled muscaria itself suggests another, perhaps more constructive, microscopic interface. Sniffing, chewing, sipping the earth substrate by way of those roots.

The well-documented transformative potential of the mycelium (decomposing pollutants, purification, necrophagy, saprophagy) is invoked to remediate an increasingly pathogenic electromagnetic networked culture. Compost for sterile soils. Refraction, reflection and interference. The mycelial network structures perception as diffusion patterns, granular obstacles, listening at the level of thermal noise. The radio crackles. Tangles left unexplored, unexplained. Further. Plants and fungi form part of an essential and idiosyncratic psychic chemistry. Time perception may be shifted. Time binding may require loosening. detection barely above the level of thermal noise.

Radio static saprophytics humming in mute backgrounds, chance shifts to patterns of cross-spore germination between two parallel wide area networks; between radio-based communication technologies and the single organism network of the mycelium; between the moment and the shadow. Fungal transceivers sprout mycelial antennas, a forest on the head. The influence of electromagnetic carrier wave on the mycelial network asks to be examined.

Plastic dishes of MYA (malt, yeast, agar), necklace-like, strung together on coils of thin copper wire; a hanging garden of reception and transmission, rough interface to the mushroom mind. On the FM band: power line undulations, low frequency pulses, phase shifts manifest, chatter.

Plants and fungi sense, transform and adapt. They speak with each other and in this conversation acknowledge clear changes in the earth. On a mundane level, becoming indicators of changes in soil chemistry, watchers of shifts in weather, observers of seasons and migratory transformation. The forest bed, a base of earth, decay and moss, turns over on itself in a sedimentary churn; the slow process of earth coding, working perhaps through and towards a β€œmind of mud”, a starred mushroom mind swallowing the observer. Salt crystal taste. Entropy on the tongue.

Luminous. Luminescent. Living.

Hexecutable # query sibylline


Further reading & references