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(Archive) Fungal Wars

Fungal Wars

This project was part of DDW 2023
Match Laboratory — © by Tom Mannion

Fungal wars is a lab based-bloodsport where engineered mycelium species fight for dominance, resources, and territory. spectators can follow the match and place a bet. Fungal Wars is raising questions about the ethics of biotechnology and commodification of living species.

Environmental Salvation

In an era of impending environmental catastrophe, Western culture seeks salvation through technological advancements. Mycelium, touted as a wonder material, holds promise to address critical issues. However, Fungal Wars challenges the notion that mere material replacements are sufficient; instead, it calls for a shift towards cooperation and symbiosis with nature.

The Games

The project unfolds through three executive games, namely Closed Combat, the 0.62 Dash, and King of the Hill. Engineered Reishi and Oyster species engage in simulated battles within custom glass vessels. Monitoring their growth determines the victors. UV photography techniques document chemical releases during these confrontations, offering valuable insights.

Questions Raised

Fungal Wars invites viewers to contemplate humanity's relationship with nature and the consequences of unchecked exploitation in the pursuit of progress. It serves as a poignant reminder of the need to embrace a culture of cooperation and symbiosis for a sustainable future.

King of the Hill. Glass blown by George Stone. — © Malou van der Veld

UV Game recap. Graphic design by Emilien Rabin — © By Malou van der Veld,

Match preparation