Fungi are embedded in human culture, tradition, and art, and have featured as inspirational and visual motifs. Psychedelic and medicinal mushrooms have been sculpted, painted, and ingested by our ancestors since prehistory. In modern times, the growing divide between the arts and sciences has delegated fungal art to a niche activity, with the bulk of the focus being on mycelium as a biomaterial. A collaboration between a multidisciplinary artist and a research laboratory, specializing in the molecular study of Aspergillus molds, has allowed us to develop new forms of mycelial art. We describe in detail the development of fungal art techniques using nutrient-rich agar containing Aspergillus nidulans conidia spotted on glass acrylic surfaces or impregnated onto etched acrylic blocks. This approach generates visually and temporally dynamic artwork that is user-friendly, safe, relatively resistant to contamination and easily scalable. Moreover, it offers countless avenues of artistic development based on the diversity of colors, textures and shapes afforded by different fungal species.
- Aspergillus nidulans
- Fungal art