Night of the Living Deadwood is a workshop led by microbiologists Dr Rod Dillon and Dr Jackie Parry, based at Lancaster University, it forms part of an ongoing collaboration with Abandon Normal Devices to explore current concepts in the biological and biomedical sciences.
The phrase ‘cutting out the deadwood’ is used to describe the non-productive or non-functional. This is a misunderstanding of the role of ‘deadwood’ in the forest.
Forest deadwood is actually alive with microscopic fungi recycling the nutrients locked in the deadwood. Mycorrhizal fungi form communication channels between trees with interspecies signalling pathways so they are a major part of the secret architecture of the forest
Decomposition in the forest is an essential , positive process and we should celebrate the deadwood as the foodstore for the future forest. The mycologist Alan Rayner discussed the nature of the tree not as a solitary agent but a dynamic figure that takes and returns energy from its environmental ground. This flow is mediated by the unseen fungal network- the microbial ecology of the forest.
The workshop will explore the dynamic processes of fungal-tree relationships. How does our anthropocentric viewpoint shape the forest landscape? De-composition is re-composition. We will be examining fungi and their reproduction using microscopes and exploring the fungal processes that are essential for survival of the forest.
ABOUT THE WORKSHOP
The workshop will take place over two days in Grizedale Forest including a networking event bringing together artists, scientist and forest rangers to talk about their work. Participants will include members of the BLS team at Lancaster who have international reputations in their specialist areas and are actively seeking collaborations with artists to further enhance their own practice and provide topics for future joint funded microbiology or biomedical themed projects.
WHO CAN APPLY
The workshop is open to artists working in any artform who should have an established background in their respective fields and be able to demonstrate why they are interested in the workshop, and how it might benefit their practice. The artists will be expected to make their activity open to audiences during the festival and online after, via a blog, flickr or social media. The workshop is open to applications from artists working in any artform, locally and nationally within the UK, no previous experience in the biosciences is necessary.
- The workshop will run from 13:00 – 18.00pm on Fri 18 & Sat 19 September 2015
- Participants must be available to attend the whole workshop
- AND will be able to provide a bursary of £150 towards participants travel and accommodation to the festival.
Deadline for applications: Friday 21 August 2015
Grizedale Forest, Grizedale Visitor Centre Postcode : LA22 0QJ
Detail on location and suggested travel and accommodation here.