The Shape of a Circle in the Mind of a Fish: The Understory of the Understory
5th & 6th December 2020
Online at themind.fish
The Understory of the Understory is the fourth instalment in an ongoing series of festivals on consciousness and intelligence across species, part of the Serpentine’s General Ecology project. With The Understory of the Understory, we go to that place which is simultaneously ground, land, soil and Earth, that is to say, the place where diverse species come together, collaborate, communicate and constitute one another but also where complex systems of redistribution of toxicity, logics of extraction and geopolitics meet.
Merlin Sheldrake introduces and discusses his recent publication. In Entangled Life, Sheldrake shows us the world from a fungal point of view, providing an exhilarating change of perspective. Sheldrake’s vivid exploration takes us from yeast to psychedelics, to the fungi that range for miles underground and are the largest organisms on the planet, to those that link plants together in complex networks known as the “Wood Wide Web,” to those that infiltrate and manipulate insect bodies with devastating precision.
Merlin Sheldrake is a biologist and author of Entangled Life: How Fungi Make Our Worlds, Change Our Minds, and Shape Our Futures (2020). He received a Ph.D. in tropical ecology from Cambridge University for his work on underground fungal networks in tropical forests in Panama, where he was a predoctoral research fellow of the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute. Merlin is a keen brewer and fermenter, and is fascinated by the relationships that arise between humans and more-than-human organisms.