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The political poetics of Mycelium


Writing Differently

ISBN: 978-1-83867-338-3, eISBN: 978-1-83867-337-6

Publication date: 24 April 2020


This chapter explores the radical potentials of mycelic practice. Mycelium is the root network of mushrooms, consisting of spores, which seeks nourishment in their surroundings, constantly spreading, showing ability to interpret its environmental circumstances and distributing nourishment to the spores needing it the most. Each spore develops individual and flexible characteristics, but always in contact with the communal mycelic body. The chapter unpacks the four phases of mycelic life and death: expansion, cannibalism, heksering formation and communication. Mycelic practice, as expansive and cannibalistic, invites us to surpass our individuality, reject the ego and any given dominant order of, say, Western civilisation, such as individual ownership or capitalist logics of growth. Death is part of life. Death sustains life. Just as closeness or intimacy involves awareness of absence understood as that which is not visibly present. Each of the phases in the life and death of mycelium points towards particular strategies and ways of working: politics, organising, methods, writing and citing. Each phase contributes to the critique disrupting the hegemonic political orders.



(2020), "The political poetics of Mycelium", Pullen, A., Helin, J. and Harding, N. (Ed.) Writing Differently (Dialogues in Critical Management Studies, Vol. 4), Emerald Publishing Limited, Leeds, pp. 159-183.



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