Mycelium as Method:
Creating a Fungal World in Arts and Games
Stephanie Maroney, Anuj Vaidya, and Mercedes Villalba
In this creative workshop, we will experiment in mycelial world-building through collaborative writing and play. The world of mushrooms and fungi is a source of strange and exciting inspiration that we will use to dream up characters, scenarios, cultural practices, and magic for a mycelial game. Drawing from participants' expertise and enthusiasm about mycology, facilitators Stephanie, Anuj and Mercedes will assist groups of myco-bards and myco-tects as they describe and design a speculative world inspired by fungus. Myco-bards will generate writing about the characters, flora and fauna, and social relations of an imagined mushroom world and myco-tects will generate drawings about the physical world, landscapes, built environment, and technologies. After which, participants will play out some scenarios for the mycelial world we have created through improvisational story-telling and narrating. Ideas that come out of this workshop will contribute to a cultural archive for the facilitators' mycelial gaming project (which will result in a material board/role-playing game).
About the Teachers
Stephanie Maroney, Anuj Vaidya and Mercedes Villalba are a creative trio of graduate students at UC Davis in Cultural Studies, Performance Studies, and Anthropology who collaborate on mycelial art and teaching projects. Together we have facilitated community fermentation workshops, kombucha "fabric" making, and an art performance with a Barcelona-based self-experimentation lab, as well as ongoing food fermentation projects. Our current work is a mycelial gaming project.