From Symbiosis to Manipulation

Thinking about the various definition of ecology, symbiosis is one of the terms that come to mind.

Take a mushroom: how much of an influence does a mushroom has over our body? once we inject it, is it going to dissipate in our body? or is it going to continue its life through us?  is the mushroom becoming us? Amber Stucke‘s explorations of parasitic, viral and symbiotic relationships can be admired in her drawings. a series of incredibly detailed tables portraying each different categories of mushrooms. as the mushrooms (some real, some imagined) are represented with minutia, as if drawn  by a taxonomist reproducing the details of a new species, their order appears to clash with their mixed up and symbiotic relations. embedded in a scientific tradition that tends to isolate objects in order to better distinguish their features, the mushroom stand up and contrast their perceived entangled and embodied existence.

Interestingly, Stucke’s piece reminds us of the fluidity of an observed nature, whose life is defined in relation to the rest of the environment. This is apparently opposed to Andrew Pelling’s approach to  nature. his experiments  in reduction and decellularization definitely come from a notion of biology as something that can be manipulated and repurposed, not as something that should be observed and recorded in its complexity. it is a view that challenges the assumption that just because things have a certain shape/consistency, we cannot consider them legitimate, as one can see in his experiments.