Monday, July 30, 2012

Bio-Art/Fungus Among Us: Mold Garden.

Yes, it's that time of the month. No, it's not werewolf or PMS time - it's Theme Week time! This week's theme is FUNGI, mostly because they get very little press on this blog. It's a shame; they happen to be fascinating plant...animal...things. Yeah, fungi are fungi, sorry. They're their own thing.

So what makes a fungus a fungus? It's almost like a plant...but not. Fungi reproduce by spores, lack chlorophyll, and have cell walls toughened by chitin - a common polymer also found in the shells of insects and crustaceans. They usually feed on decaying matter, but some have amazing symbiotic relationships with plants and animals. The only part of the fungus we usually see are the fruiting bodies - yes, those giant portobello mushrooms are mushroom naughty bits. You're welcome. 


Fungi are everywhere. Open your refrigerator, for example. If something has started turning fuzzy, that's a fungus.Athlete's foot? That's a fungus, too. Of course, mushrooms are fungi. The yeast used in making bread is a fungus as well. Cheese inevitably contains at least one kind of fungus - sometimes many. Hmm...does that mean that the mushroom sandwich that they used to have at Panera is technically X-rated? Sooo many fruiting bodies.

With fungi being just about everywhere, it's no wonder that people have started making art with them. Some of it is absolutely beautiful and stunning; you'd be amazed how much moldy cream cheese looks like a cosmological phenomenon. Others are just depressing.

My personal favorite among them, however, are Stacy Levy's Mold Garden pieces. Each panel consists of a sandblasted image of an actual mold culture. If that wasn't cool enough, Stacy put real mold on those images to grow. Is this life mimicking art, or art mimicking life? Whatever you call it, it's neat.

Please support the artist here.

Mold: It's not just for science projects anymore. 

1 comment:

  1. wow . . .really nice one. . .it has so many meaning when you look at it..
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