#1022: Biosonification of Fungi & Interspecies Communication with “Mycelia” performance in VRChat by Nanotopia, _ROOT_, & Metaverse Crew

Tosca Terán (aka Nanotopia) is an interdisciplinary artist at intersections of ecology, bioart, mycology, and sound, and she collaborated in creating the “Mycelia” performance with the Metaverse Crew and Sara Lisa Vogl (aka _ROOT_) to bring her fungi biosonification music into an amazingly immersive, audioreactive VRChat world.

myceliaPremiering at the AMAZE festival in July, Terán held a number of musical performances where she translates the conductance from Oyster Mushrooms into MIDI and a form of ambient electronic music in addition to her own musical performance. My mind was pretty blown after hearing her describe her process of how she generates her music, and I wanted to sit down with her to do a super deep dive unpacking each step of the process (See the show notes down below for more details as you listen in). I had a chance to catch up with her the day before her Venice performance in September, and I had a chance to see it a second time at the Raindance Immersive festival, where it ended up winning one of the Spirit of Raindance awards for it’s innovative, independent, and pioneering spirit.

This ended being quite a wonky deep dive into the audio production pipeline of biosonification of fungi, but also has some deeper thoughts about the implications of interspecies communication, the potential of using haptics, and spatialized ambisonics and sonification to further explore biometric or physiological data from either humans or non-human species. The Mycelia performance has been one of the more magical experiences I’ve had in VR, especially considering that it does provide a portal into the biorhythms and proxies of consciousness of non-human intelligence. So hopefully this conversation will not only help explain Terán’s creative process, but also help to inspire other bio-artists to continue experimenting and exploring the potentials of biosonification with the context these immersive worlds.



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Music: Fatality

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Episode 1022