Memory and Matter – Heather Komus
After witnessing an autopsy, I became fascinated by the physicality of the brain. The brains were moist, soft and fragile yet still possessed some weight. Sometimes a brain would be torn, partially crushed or covered in blood. The brain was not a computer safely sealed away in the skull but an organ that could bleed and literally fall apart.
Fungal cells and brain cells communicate in a similar manner, creating large and complex networks. The brain is a part of its environment where spores can be inhaled, colonizing organs like the lungs, flowing through the blood stream to the spinal cord and brain. Fungi like Candida albicans will build biofilms so it can hide from the immune system and Blastomycosis will also “hide” in the body, mimicking other illnesses. Memory and Matter explores a breakdown of boundaries between our body and the environment, living and dead, and humans and fungi.