Mycelium Network Society

Mycelium Network Society (MNS) is a Stadtwerkstatt (Linz, Austria) and cycleX (Andes, New York) initiative to connect rhizomic mycelium network nodes. The MNS thematizes mushrooms, spores and mycelia as artistically intended, alternative information networks.

At STWST, there had already been projects on mycelia/fungi since 2015, and MNS was then founded by STWST and cycleX at Transmediale in 2017 - and expanded to include worldwide network nodes. Residencies with international artists on the theme followed. In 2018/2019, STWST was at the Taipei Biennale with the MNS. In 2019, the network project MNS, located between nature, information, technology, culture and art, was expanded by further nodes.
Taipei Fine Arts Museum
Residency-Serie zur MNS in der STWST

2020 saw a scattered, networked “Spore Release Party”.
Spore Release Party - 21.12.2020, 24 hours

Global Spore Release Party: The Mycelium Network Society's globally scattered nodes are called upon on December 21 to send spores into space in a concert-like synchronized action. Fixed starters are the Stadtwerkstatt in cooperation with the Lab-kill-Lab-Community in Taiwan, plus the temporarily node at the Technische Sammlung in Dresden. Min 20 nodes of the worldwide Mycelium community are invited to participate.

In 2021, the beginnings of the MNS were looked at anew, through an Infolab streaming of growth and subsoil processes, as well as reflection on the theme by the first residency artists. A basic context that remained as a critique can be summarised by the jargon term “nodism”: The term comes from the network discourse and describes the fact that the network has become centralised at essential points instead of fulfilling a promise of de-hierarchisation and decentralisation: nodes that see themselves as decentralised can by no means be seen as detached from the fact that data is increasingly located on centrally managed servers. Nor are the data cables that connect the continents across the oceans decentralised.

With considerations such as these, the Mycelium Network Society has been transferred even more strongly into an open concept of communication.

Image: mushroom@cycleX (2019) by Erwin Carl