Toronto and Vancouver region, 2009-2010
“I coordinated an exchange of terrestrial knowledge for celestial knowledge between amateur mycologists and astronomers. First the mushroomers hosted the astronomers on an afternoon foray to collect and identify fungus species. In the evening, the astronomers hosted the mushroomers to look through telescopes at the sun, stars, planets, and satellites. The exchange took place first at a personal scale in Toronto in 2009, and then as a major event in Maple Ridge BC, with the participation of the Vancouver Mycological Society and the Royal Astronomical Society of Canada (Vancouver Centre) in May 2010.
Mycology is visceral, it relies on all our immediate and proximal senses, and it is concerned with the fecund and ephemeral. It exists in a time scale of seasons, and of hours, as things can decay and dissolve before you even empty your basket. The practice of astronomy requires amazing feats of conceptualization and imagination. It’s concerned with the elemental and the other worldly, and things exist at distances, in numbers, and in time scales that exceed comprehension. Both practices are much assisted by a range of technical devices from microscopes to telescopes, and by enthusiastic teachers who can animate everything from tiny spores to a speck of distant light.”