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Mycological provisions

Christopher Lee Kennedy

This exposition considers the use of mycology and chance operation as a method and material for arts-based research. The exposition details a series of mushroom hunting excursions designed to engage four artist-teachers in collaborative dialogue about their practice and identity. As participant and researcher converse, the hunts unfold as dérive-like encounters with a landscape interrupted through chance and embodied experience. The project draws from the work of artist and composer John Cage, who used fungi and mushroom hunting as one of many devices for exploring sound and its relationship to environment. Contextual research and documentation offer a glimpse into this process, while considering unstructured, kinetic, and uncertain ways of knowing in qualitative and arts-based research. The aim is to explore mycology as a post-formal lens for understanding the pedagogical and creative practices of the artist-teacher as a networked, fluid, and relational system.