Since September 2016, Fathomers has been wayfinding a project with Phil Ross, whose mushroom innovations have long foretold of a fungal future for all of us. In devising a campaign of objects and events that bridge the worlds of science fiction, science fact, synthetic biology, ethics, and popular culture, our discussions have taken us from Los Angeles to San Francisco, from the apocryphal to the apocalyptic, from fashion to linguistics to Black Mirror to spam.
Most recently, we field-tripped to the bioengineering department at Stanford University, where Phil works as a visiting researcher, to talk bionet fancy and folly with Phil and Dr. Drew Endy. We passed a nanopore sequencer around the table, marveling at its size. Think gold slider tin of strawberry lip balm, circa ... 1984?
AREAS OF RESEARCH
mycelium / fungus / synthetic biology / bioethics / biotech / linguistics / pop culture / fashion / space / the future
SITES OF PRESENTATION
"Myco-Cosmos," with Paul Stamets and Laraaji, Nov. 4, 2017, at Los Angeles State Historic Park
(photos: Theo Jemison)
"Science Speed Dating," June 28, 2017, at NeueHouse Hollywood, presented in collaboration with the Science and Entertainment Exchange and Imagined Futures
"On Mycotecture: Breakfast with Phil Ross," Nov. 2, 2016, at NeueHouse Hollywood
As an artist, Phil Ross has exhibited work at the Venice Biennale of Architecture, the Museum of Modern Art, and the Museum of Jurassic Technology; as a bioengineering scholar at Stanford University, he’s working to develop an internet of biological things. He’s also co-founder and CTO of MycoWorks, a start-up that turns mycelium (the threadlike, vegetative part of mushrooms) into building bricks and leather — where he’s poised to revolutionize the materials industry with bio-design.
in the field
Mycelium workshop, Stanford University Department of Bioengineering, May 2017
Research visit to the MycoWorks exhibit at the BioDesign Studio at the Tech Museum of Innovation, in San Jose, CA