Modern Mycelium: Urban Fairy Rings by Sydney Bouwers


Modern Mycelium: Urban Fairy Rings is a compilation of photos into a small book. This idea stemmed from my fascination with the romanticized idea of fairy rings. As written in the book, a fairy ring can be defined as mushroom growth found in meadows and open woods that spread in rings originating from mycelial growth or folklore evidence of paths laid by dancing fairies. I loved the idea that these rings were to be believed as what was left behind from mythical fairies. I began to think about the things we leave behind in our current society, and that is when I formed the definition of an urban ring. My definition, as also seen in the book, suggests that an urban ring is contemporary remains found in urban settings, interposed into ring silhouettes, evidence of modern societal residents. I then started making interventions from found items in urban settings, placing these very modern discarded items into rings, resulting in suggested modern mycelium. The book holds a collection of ten images of these interventions, and stands as a prototype for a much bigger, growing collection. This piece challenges us to think about our current society, and the mark we leave on the world. These created rings, made and left in urban areas, challenge our imaginations of mythical happenings, as well as what evidence is left as remains of the way we live.

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