Entanglements is a magical realism portrayal of anthropomorphic creatures built of mycelium and the fruiting bodies of fungi. It’s inspired by the role of the mycorrhizal network in forests which acts as a connector between trees to provide nutrients and even information, therefore supporting multiple species. This idea that different organisms would make such an architecture for a successful ecosystem supports Donna Haraway’s idea of sym-poiesis, that organisms build worlds through making together, an idea that goes against capitalism’s Darwinian justifications. American issues, such as systematic racism that is willfully ignored partially for the benefit it provides to the economy, are now being magnified by the pandemic. This magnification has exposed many to the differences of how one body suffers compared to another, or what one group of people view as peaceful use of the body for protests, or through the difficulties it has cost for those that lack human contact. I see that perhaps mentally our connection has become stronger and more resilient through an acknowledgement of the unseen ways in which we remain connected. I see a similarity in the microbiology of the forest, strength coming through multiple worlds interconnecting, a web of entangled growth and decay. A way of maintaining resilience when a world values economic growth over bodies.
“Skill in living, awareness of belonging to the world, delight in being part of the world, always tends to involve knowing our kinship as animals with animals. Darwin first gave that knowledge a scientific basis. And now, both poets and scientists are extending the rational aspect of our sense of relationship to creatures without nervous systems and to nonliving beings-our fellowship as creature with other creatures, things with other things.”
Ursula K Le, Guin, Deep in Admiration
“How can we repurpose the tools of modernity against the terrors of Progress to make visible the other worlds it has ignored and damaged? Living in a time planetary catastrophe thus begins with a practice at once humble and difficult: noticing the worlds around us.” Heather Swanson, Anna Tsing, Nils Bubandt, and Elaine Gan, Arts of Living on a Damaged Planet