CAC · Exhibition | Mycelium and Dust: Dispersed Fiction

Mycelium and Dust: Dispersed Fiction

2024.03.15 –2024.05.19

Martin Howse
Chronus Art Center
2nd Floor, Building 11, No.50 Mo Gan Shan Rd, Shanghai
Abteilung Kultur und Bildung, Generalkonsulat der Bundesrepublik Deutschland Shanghai
Chronus Art Center is pleased to present Mycelium and Dust: Dispersed Fictionthe fourth installment of CAC Projects in collaboration with artist Martin Howse. The project will open on March 15, 2024 and remain on view through May 19, 2024.

Delving into the soil and volcanic craters, we glimpse across the ether from the micro-cosmos.

By observing similarities between the array of radio telescopes and the radiative ring growth of Amanita Muscaria, Howse initiated the project Radio Mycelium Array, attempting to establish a connection between wireless communication networks and mycelial networks, spanning spores and signals. Based on the explorations of predecessors in animal magnetism, remote bio-sensing, and interstellar communication interception, Howse explores how non-human entities play roles as detectors and spiritual guides, stimulating alternative dispersed imaginaries. In Radio Mycelium Array, Reishi acts as antennas for receiving cosmic signals and gathering radio waves from the same celestial body within the fairy rings, assembling a larger electromagnetic cosmic view. In this context, mycelium is not only a decomposer of pollutants and death but also entangled with interspecies symbiotic intelligence, serving as the soil's extended skin, conducting fluctuating radio signals, and mediatingthe metabolism of psychochemistry. The fungal installation Radio Mycelium Array slowly encode the geology, weaving not only the murmurs of roots but also the chants of photonic exchanges. Stars and spores combine in such imaginative ways, radiating a new magnetic field and recoding the psychogeophysics domain.
Martin Howse, Radio Mycelium Array,2017 ©the artist
The exhibition extends in two directions based on the Radio Mycelium Array. The piece VOIDT is a dual-channel video work of a performance underground, documenting Howse’s circular walks inside an open volcanic cave on Tenerife Island. When cosmic rays penetrate the atmosphere, they produce numerous subatomic particles, including muons. Muons are ubiquitous. They travel through bodies and objects at nearly the speed of light, providing a means of observation for understanding impalpablematerials and scale in scientific works. For example, measuring the rate of muon incidence within a small area helps to examining  the material properties and density of structures above or to the side of the detector, a method also known as muography (or μography). Using this method, the artist walks barefoot into the volcanic cave, writing with muons. When artist’s moving device detects cosmic rays, a small amount of volcanic sand settles down. The real-time evolution of the geological landscape is a slow and imperceptible process. With an inherent implication of "intermediary", muons linger in the abyss of the volcanic crater. As Timothy Morton discussed in Hyperobjects, this "interobjectivity”, serving as the “in-between”, is not in spacetime—it is space-time per se. Through the intermediary state provided by muons, people observe the deep-time structures in temporary signals and perceive void materials.
Martin Howse,VOIDT, 2022 ©the artist
In addition to the exhibition, CAC also attempts to explore the aesthetic significance of astral bodies through diverse public programs, calling for audiences to participate in physical experiments collectively, learning the scientific properties of metal accumulatingand refining process within the environment of human body and their associated implications in contemporary technological culture.

Howse's practices explore the impact of geological topology on individual psychology, consideringbody as the ultimate ecology of the apocalypse, becoming a part of soil and planets. In his works, fungi and geology are dynamic materials entangled with computer technology. Today, as minerals and geological time are incorporated into the vast contemporary infrastructure system, geological substrateand its inorganic components have already circulated into every living being. "bio-geo-symbio" is not a moral admonition of how human should coexist with nature, but as the normal withdrawals in an era of frequent emergencies, it becomes an increasingly revealing reality.


< About the Artist >



Martin Howse is occupied with an artistic investigation of the links between the earth (geophysical phenomena), software and the human psyche (psychogeophysics). Through the construction of experimental situations (within process-driven performance, laboratories, walks, and workshops), material art works and texts, Martin Howse explores the rich links between substance or materials and execution or protocol, excavating issues of visibility and of hiding within the world.
From 1998 to 2005 he was director of ap, a software performance group working with electronic waste, and pioneering an early approach to digital glitch. From 2007 to 2009 he hosted a regular workshop, micro-residency and salon series in Berlin. He has worked and collaborated on acclaimed projects and practices such as The Crystal World,Psychogeophysics, Earthboot, Sketches towards an Earth Computer and Dissolutions. For the last ten years he has initiated numerous open-laboratory style projects and performed, published, lectured and exhibited worldwide. He is equally the creator of the skin-driven audio divination noise module, The Dark Interpreter, and the ERD modular synthesizer series.
Supported by

                                                           A Project of Bio-Geo-Symbio Series
                                                                                     Concept: ZHANG Ga
                                                                                     Curators: BI Xin, CAO Jiamin
                                                                                     Production: CAO Daxu
                                                                                     Graphic Design: PAGE OF