Junk from The Other Plastic Universe


Unique objects. Pleurotus ostreatus (oyster mushroom) mycelium,
coffee husks, metal rods, reclaimed wood

Ben Light: shelf and stand designs and fabrication. ITP students in “The Fungus Among Us” class.

These anthropological artifacts appear here as fossilized remains from a mycocentrically parallel world. We are eaten by petroleum; we continue to believe that oil from rocks makes us immortal, but that promise was a fossil-fueled trick to resurrect itself.

Closing the supply chain, making styrofoam substitutes, making sculptures from waste. These sculptures are cast from plastic blister packs and clamshell packaging, and form the negative space of trash.

I ran a class at ITP (Tisch, NYU) called “The Fugus Among Us “ in which we explore what we can do with coffee bean husks (the pulp) and mushroom mycelium (the glue). As the mycelium eats its way through the pulpy agricultural material, it forms a silky, binding glue. We bake the forms to kill the fungus. The result is a compostable material whose uses vary from a styrofoam packing substitute to a piece of furniture. It’s even edible.

The technique of using mycelium as a medium in mold-making was pioneered by Phil Ross. Thank you Phil, for all the years of you spent open-sourcing the work.