Here you can find a collection of additional exercises and games that elaborate the symbiosis theme.
1. Knitted mycelium *
Instructions for making a textile art piece with the group.
In this exercise participants make a textile art work, a knitted mycelium* of the fungus, from recycled rug weaving weft. This exercise goes well together with the memory game, where you learn about symbiosis between fungi and trees. In their shared mycorrhizae, trees give sugars to fungi and in return, fungi give trees phosphorus and nitrogen. Mycorrhiza consists of mycelium of the fungus, which is formed by thin hyphae filaments, joined by the tree roots.
The symbiotic relationship and cooperation of trees and fungi is the theme for the textile art exercise. Knitting the mycelia offers a chance to play with the spatiality, colours, form and design of the fungal world. The participants will co-create textile art installation, seeing how individual hypha form together tangled web of fungus' mycelia.
Duration: Minimum of 10 minutes /per each knitted piece /per participant, but it depends how long hypha filaments, or big scale work you have the possibility to create. It is possible to make this within one lesson, or have it as continuing process over a longer period of time.
You can also divide the group into two, another one playing the memory card game, while others are knitting.
For installation: A location where it is possible to suspend things from the ceiling, hooks or other structures. You might also want to try installing the knitted mycelia web outdoors, for example between trees.
As the main colour of the mycelia, choose the weft which you have the most, the other three then signify nutrients and sugars. You can see, which materials or colours you can access easily, and decide colours based on availability. The intention is to get creative with the materials and not so much to imitate the colours in nature. The most important thing is that making is fun, and offers a moment for creative work together and reflection time for the theme.
Each participant chooses a colour they wish to knit, and makes a piece of hypha, nutrient or sugar of their desired length by finger knitting. You may want to make little balls of weft (or yarn) ready for this, or then make ready cut pieces of it.
For the collective web to form, first hang some lines on the ceiling (or tree branches outdoors) where participants can then attach their knitted pieces. Once there are more of them, you can start to attach pieces to one another, so that a tangled web is formed, hypha by hypha.
Finger-knitting is simple:
Want to listen something while creating mycelia? We like Mykorritsan joulu (Mycorrhiza's christmas) by Tampo.
* Mycelium (pl. mycelia) is the vegetative part of the fungus, consisting of strands of hypha.
* Hypha (pl. hyphae) is a thin filament in the mycelium
* Mycorrhiza (pl. mycorrhizae) is the system of fungus' mycelium joined together with tree roots underground, that enables them the change of nutrients and sugars.
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