Fungikulture

ed. Harry Burke

 

PDF VERSION

 

In woods, we’re misled
by leaves or play of
sunlight; driving along, we sometimes
stop, park, and get
out, only to discover it’s a football or a
piece of trash. Learning from such
experiences isn’t what we do.

–  John Cage

 

The following is a selection of artists’ writing and poetry. Seeing that a lot of my friends were writing, I thought it would be interesting to collect some of it. Curious, perhaps suspicious, of the categories of both artists’ writing and poetry, much of it is writing that finds a middle. The question is then of what literary experience this middle ground instigates. The middle ground is the territory in which spores grow.

In the sprirt of Fungiculture, both the botanic practice and the journal, this thread has as editorial methodology an interpretation of the practice of care and cultivation within such ecology.

U have to remember that London is full of mould, and it takes an hour to get anywhere.

featuring contributions by Emily Berry, Rózsa Farkas, Bea Schlingelhoff, Linda Stupart, Caspar Heinemann, Emily Jones, Guillermo Ruiz de Loizaga, Juliette Blightman, Harry Burke, Holly White x Holly Childs, Jonty Tiplady, Anne de Boer and Eloïse Bonneviot, and Charlie Burlingham, with illustrations by Oscar Khan.

 


 

Emily Berry
Canopy

The walls were down.

The weather was inside.

The branches trembled over the glass as if to apologise; then they thumped and they came in.

And the trees shook everything off until they were bare and clean. They held on to the ground with their long feet and leant into the gale and back again.

This was their way with the wind.

They flung us down and flailed above us with their visions and their pale tree light.

I think they were telling us to survive. That’s what a leaf feels like anyway. We lay under their great awry display and they tattooed us with light.

They got inside us and made us speak; I said my first word in their language: ‘canopy’.

I was crying and it felt like I was feeding. Be my mother, I said to the trees, in the language of trees, which is not transcribable, and they shook their hair back, and they bent low with their many arms, and they looked into my eyes as only trees can look into the eyes of a person, they touched me with the rain on their fingers till I was all droplets, till I was a mist, and they said they would.

 

1

 

Rózsa Farkas
Family

We were in that house. That sickly house, that stank of your overwhelming gentrification, holding marks of a family that had maybe once called it home. Everything was cold with testosterone and badly washed clothes, the type that are left dank for days.

I was the tail end ouroboros of Lafargue’s working class, the class that in order to continue to prop up production was “compelled, like the capitalist class, to do violence to its taste for abstinence and to develop indefinitely its consuming capacities.” I’d gone through total self-consumption, I’d let you eat me. And now you were signing me up for the necessitation of my unemployment, so you didn’t have to eat me anymore.

I covered myself from the half-decorated interior – embarrassed by its nakedness, by its surfaces made so temporary in your camp, your flatpackable, movable room. You said you like freedom to move around but that’s because precarity only suits white rich boys. I thought about what I could do, what would be the one transgressive thing I could do to affront your history, your family, your gaze, your phallus.

Maybe peel my skin – how to shed my body in front of you, how to stay still enough to become part of the wall, the house, take it back and deny you its occupation? I would try to be quiet when I called to my sisters burnt. I would be as absolutely autonomous as I could be in my refusal, nothing would happen but unending process.

 

2

 

Bea Schlingelhoff

art of community, the
atlantis constitution, operation
atlas shrugged
basement nukes: the consequences of cheap weapons of mass destruction
broadcasting ships
community, art of
cinderella philatelist, the
coup d’etat
decentralist copying service
etat, coup d’
free, living
freedom in an unfree world, how i found
guerilla warfare
harbors, boats and
how i found freedom in an unfree world
i found freedom in an unfree world, how
land, free
man, corporation
nukes, basement
operation atlantis constitution
peace plans
rand, ayn
sale, sovereignty for
tax havens, grundy’s
unfree world, how i found freedom in an
vonu: the search for personal freedom
warfare, guerilla
waves, when pirates ruled the
when pirates ruled the waves
world, how i found freedom in an unfree

 

3

 

Guillermo Ruiz de Loizaga
poisonous toad poem

like a poisonous toad
is not poisonous to itself
i have developed a hard skin
against my desire for coolness

so this is the last poem i make
on request or on a deadline
thank you for the opportunity
to participate in this, but

i don’t want to lose my breath
i just want to be good to my wife
and eat mushrooms
and get hit by a car

 

Caspar Heinemann
115,000,000

‘if the network of the internet is a swamp then mineral water is like…erm….like the stock exchange! yeah, the london stock exchange is like mineral water. though a friend lives near the city and apparently they all drink coconut water.
i wonder what types of water other things are…’

everyone looks unimpressed, like they can tell i’m full of water and shit and vodka

unfiltered leaking showing my holes private view i want to explain that comparing the stock exchange to mineral water is not a cynical post-Steyerl exploitation of the capital-as-fluid moment, i’m just thinking out loud
word vomit with intent, like the verbal equivalent of tactical vomit. i feel like everyone* here*
is doing that thing where you do a line of like žižek or whatever bc you don’t wanna feel drunk anymore, when really they should be throwing up,
which has a similar affect but with more viscera. but i don’t throw up bc that feels like part of the problem so we drink instead

the internet is a swamp in the same way declaring the internet a swamp is a swamp
^ that sentence is 17.65% swamp
swamp is saying something knowing it might not float
swamp is my stupid water taxonomy
swamp is ultimately
nothing floats.

the art world is so air conditioning

like everyone throwing around philosophers as punctuation but less empty than that sounds because punctuation

abyssal difference abyss of difference the whole world the hole world chants chance

how many things will i ruin
trying to figure out what they are

 

8

 

Emily Jones
#repopulate / The Foraging Success of the Scarlet Ibis

ponderosa pines
Empire State
North Star
trans primal
semper fidelis
innocent witness
orthodox affinity
spherical system
intrinsic inhomogeneity
swamp tech
legitimate powers
meta-extinction
ethical coercion
filtered container
group selfie
overly entangled
contagious magic
bone density
contour feathers
leaf scar
pollen drillcore
human resources
other nations
highly divergent
influential fictions
haute finance
emotional prototyping
Native American
tropical year
jungle innovation
extrastatecraft agility
legal habitats
offshore practices
oral defence
hard dance
double sunset
subatomic prayers

 

from A I R ongoing

 

Juliette Blightman
A Solitary Head

Chrysanthemums, sometimes called mums or chrysanths, the compound
inflorescence is an array of several flower heads, or sometimes a solitary head.

A window looking onto a tree, and then out onto another tree, a museum
where the paintings were hung by chains the same colour as the wallpaper.

The rain. Yes, you were right. It is going to be wet tomorrow. Every time they
had met it had rained.

The day grew dark and her mother had said that it might clear again, that one burst of sunshine would have been enough, but that more probably it would
have rained.

The chrysanthemums slowly moved towards the sunlight. She dreamt once
that she was waking up and it was dark, the light did not appear — it should
have been light it was morning she was sure it was morning, she woke
up screaming — it was dark and she was sure it was morning, it was not
morning yet it was dark.

The camera was fixed on the tripod and she kept an eye on the cats; they’d
been crazy since she’d come back from London. They had pissed in the corner
behind the sofa and next to the window on the clothes, sheets and tights. She
had washed them all but she could still smell it. The camera was about to run
out of battery, she was trying to keep it still or the chrysanthemums would
move more towards the light and ruin the film — she could always make it
again tomorrow she supposed. She’d flown back from London two days ago,
you were away she didn’t know when you would be back but she liked being
there — despite the cat piss.

She’d messed up the film anyway it had jumped and stopped recording when
she plugged the adapter in, she’d only lost a minute or two and at least now
it would last the duration of the tape — which was sixty minutes, sixty minutes
from three o’clock in the afternoon until four o’clock, but that was two
o’clock in the afternoon to three o’clock in London. The light was different
there and it was a beautiful day, the light changes so much during the course
of the year she thought. At three o’clock in October it doesn’t look so tired as
it does in the summer. The sun was out from five o’clock in the morning until
ten o’clock at night in the summer there.

She went to the toilet and forgot that she was recording.

 

4

 

Linda Stupart
SUPREMATISM (extract)

I’ve become obsessed with Kazimir Malevich lately, with his black squares. In his ability to produce a revolutionary work of art, a political project: The discrete negation of the representational system we call capitalism, the anarchic destruction of the oppressive regimes of beauty and taste, a triumph over criticality, naturalism; a nihilistic non-objectivity: painting for a revolution. His pupil, Anna Leposkaia “recount(s) his words that he considered Black Square an event of such tremendous significance that he could not eat, sleep or drink for a week.”

So Kazimir told her that once he tried to starve himself to death, but he wears only his underwear and dances with his back right up against the pole. He keeps a copy of Sylvia Federicis ‘Revolution at Point Zero (Housework, Reproduction and the Feminist Struggle)’ in between his underwear and his jeans and he spits his gum out of his mouth when they are in the park and she reaches around and sucks his cock and the book is right there on his skin.

Some people think that trying to starve yourself is trying to find a way to leave the body but I’m not sure, I think maybe it’s a way to be only body, be only thing, pick at the scab of your Cartesian split. The thing is I guess that he knew he was only an image when he danced in his underwear that night, he knew that nobody could touch him, she couldn’t touch him (the first time she saw him he was up against the wall with Dorian, who she was fucking, then). Starvation is self-objectification. Celibacy is an aesthetic claim.

 

Harry Burke
House

I dont want a nice house
House that aspires to be
Nice. When I come home
I want different coloUred
petals on the floor.

 

5

 

Holly White × Holly Childs
( holly )

hollyLbella ciaohollyR
forgot the chords
bedroom wall
stuck the lyrics
“holly” not “holy”
you know, like the tree?
i texted u
my sister calls me hoz woz
punx say “hole punch”
virgin head job holly
but we could b any holly
urbandictionary, she’s a holly
but this isn’t getting me any closer to understanding
i’d only ever met one holly until i went to six form and then there were 3 of us
i wasn’t good friends with either ov them, i don’t generally like other hollys
i wish someone would write an urbandictionary definition as a subtweet to me
i get hoz woz
or maybe sometimes hozza
and at one point that became harry, as in, harry potter.
Holly feels like Misty Hyman
like little sister, valleygirl, cheerleader

i been away and now i’m thinking

i feel really ‘away’ within this process

i guess i’m thinking of the shared psychic space… and christmas buzz
but yeh i’m down to gchat
yeh i feel like i’m not ‘bringing it’

*end poem* <jk> mabes?
– i add u gchat /time zones

i kind of just want to strip what we’ve written back to nouns
also i married someone with a name that rhymes

yeh pink/orgnage/purple
but it’s summer so it doesn’t feel like anything

the holly text
i’m so confused about who has said each thing each time
yes the holly holly text
i’ll make u a friendship bracelet

 

6

 

Jonty Tiplady

But then what? There can be no real change in vital sense as long as we still think life on a human-on-human scale. But then what? The disconnect would remain between the species and the life that in an unquestioning way it still seizes by right. But then what? The automatic assumption of more life may be the last thing life now needs. And then what? Man as an animal who knows best how to further its own life is precisely what is questionable given the slide of the species towards its own extinction. But when what? What may be difficult to accept is that we no longer know how to successfully further our own conditions of life. And then what? At some point you say, ‘it’s too much to know’, and quietly I agree.

 

Anne de Boer and Eloïse Bonneviot
Day 18

Winter is still full on, although we’re reaching the end of it. This year the temperatures were really mild, allowing the mushrooms to grow until very recently. Still some small mushrooms are forcing their way through. But not much power is left, and the combination with occasional frost is leading to a premature decay.

Most of our experiments were successful. A lot of blue/grey oyster mushrooms grew in almost all the boxes. Fewer pink and yellow oysters appeared, since the average temperature became too low for them too quick. Most likely they have more success during the spring period, which we will surely try.

Concerning the other species we were not as lucky. Some required an already ‘contaminated’ environment to feed on, such as horse manure, which we hope to acquire next season. Now that the structure is there we can really focus during spring and summer on trying out more difficult fungus.

One thing that became increasingly obvious is that we need a kind of laboratory to work. Somewhere we could maintain full sterility when contaminating the substrate. Certain species, such as Lion Mane for instance, are delicate and sensitive to external bacterial flora.

Slowly stepping out of the refrigerator we can only wish:

Let the rotting begin.

 

diary entry from The Mycological Twist

 

7

 

Charlie Burlingham
Cruithne

Who is the Art World’s Moon? Craft is pregnant and misty, standing up for invisible issues. Mail fraud is (1) a scheme to defraud, and (2) the mailing of a letter, etc., for the purpose of executing the scheme. A safe house would be ideal, where we could continuously pick popcorn kernels from our teeth and delight in the act of being scammed. The only vase there whispered to me, “when I die, I want people to say ‘that bitch was funny.'” So hop on, I came here from my death penalty just to free you.

Do everybody else’s bodies do weird shit all the time? Remember jumping on any floor? Fewer possibilities create a slight draft. You know that line in Melancholia that Kirsten Dunst shudders out: “The Earth is evil.” Lol this is like that, except that the rest of the Universe is more corrupt still. I have no personal life. Stop-and-frisk. Cat imagery. Storage wars is my lifeblood. I can only cry to lossless recordings of Adele.

I read Beowulf before Grendel’s mother was Angelina Jolie, all nekkid and golden. As a 20 year old boy, I will most likely die naturally in 2068, 2069, or 2070, according to www.deathtimer.com. Sometimes I wonder whether God is funny. Does a nun’s habit reflect His wry sense of humor? I was supposed to be waiting in a therapist’s uniform to pick up my grant money for new chainmail, but I ran into the swamp. In waiting rooms, who will be the first to enjoy the obituary of a vase? I’m soaking wet under the algae, waiting for that snicker. Now, hold a rain stick over the edge of your bed and log the fuck out.

 

 

 

 

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