MYCOWEAR: Reactive Fungi Wearable



Red Carpet Showroom on Karlsplatz with Question

Me & Answer Artist Collective, July 1st - 31st


Reactive Fungi Wearable


Silk top overgrown with mushrooms & mycelium from the

Phoenix Oyster mushroom (Pleurotus pulmonarius),

metal hanger with shoulder pads,

breadboard sensory system with wires & plugs 



Slip on and plug in to sense, connect and communicate with fungi. Spend a day being fungi or getting close, perceiving the world from a fungal point of view. 


Fungal networks monitor a large number of data streams as part of their everyday existence. If we plug into the mycelial network - the interconnected roots of a mushroom, a vast microscopic web - and interpret the signals they use to process information, we can not only learn more about them, they’ll also sense us and the environment we move in, as we sense them. Reactive fungi wearables stimulate parallel sensing and process and exchange information between a hosting body linked with the wearable ecological unit growing mushrooms and mycelium. A fungi wearable can not survive long without the host organism or it’s incubator and will loose activity and go dormant after about 24 hours. 



Photo of the Process: Mycelium layering on

the top, shortly before I decided to dry the

fungi, because I unfortunately could not regular-

ly water the culture to support further mushroom

growth during the exhibition. 


     Phoenix Oyster mushroom (Pleurotus pulmonarius)





Detail Wearable below left

mycelium (white coating) & dried oyster mushrooms 


Maaijke Middelbeek, Reactive Fungi Wearable, Parallel sensing with fungi, mushroom mycelium fabric, Question Me & Answer


View from the right side

Fungi on top of it

Question Me & Answer


Overview of the space and show




Link to the theme of the show: IDENTITY


Fungi are the major players in most of life’s processes and provide a key to understanding the planet on which we live and the ways we think, feel and behave. The fungi kingdom is massively diverse and going back 2,4 billion years ago while homo sapiens emerged only around 300.000 years ago. Fungi question our concept of individuality, they are the great connectors

of life. Life is entangled and on a physical, psychological and cultural level we are much more intertwined than

we often realize. Reactive fungi wearables help us to see and sense beyond our self delusion.