Ep. 126: The Art in Mushroom Cultivation & Embracing the Unknowable (feat. Sam Shoemaker)

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Today on Mushroom Hour we are excited to interview mushroom cultivation artist Sam Shoemaker. Sam is an interdisciplinary artist and mycologist based in Los Angeles, California. Sam's recent artistic work stems from an ongoing collaboration with rare, native, and medicinal fungi. After receiving his MFA from Yale University in 2020, Sam founded the urban mushroom farm Myco Myco from his underground laboratory in Los Angeles. His obsession with mushrooms led Sam to some unconventional cultivation projects. These projects produced interesting results which led him to ask questions about how mushrooms can be used and when nobody seemed to be able to answer his questions he just kept going - doing more experiments, taking the science as far as he could, and trying things for himself. Approaching mycology through the lens of an artist, Sam explores the tremendous amount of creative opportunity surrounding mycology right now. His aim is simple and beautiful: making mycology accessible to all and encouraging people to embrace the unknowable!
TOPICS COVERED:

  • Grandma's Artistic Influence
  • An Obsession with Mushrooms is Born
  • Mushrooms and Modern Art
  • Replacing Single-Use Plastics in Cultivation
  • Mushroom Chia Pets
  • Blending Boundaries of Art and Science
  • Public Reception to Sam’s Artwork
  • Practicality of Substrates from Waste Streams
  • Myco Myco Mushroom Farm
  • Advice for Making Mushroom Cultivation into a Living
  • Changes in Mycophile Culture as Mushrooms Go Mainstream
  • Future of Mushroom Cultivation
  • Leading with Reciprocity
  • Future Educational Projects

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