“Degenerative Cultures” creates a “bhiobrid” environment in which fungi consume texts documenting the human impulse to dominate nature. The inherent growth algorithm of fungi becomes the operating logic for a bot that tweets excerpts of texts on humanity’s inclination to reshape nature. Fungi literally grow on the pages of books and consume texts that document this human impulse. As the fungal colony consumes the text, the bot-based twitter handle @HelloFungus tweets the obfuscated text. The resulting twitter feed becomes a basis for interacting with and observing fungal redactions of human knowledge and a database that reflects a natural growth pattern. This pattern, apparent in the twitter feed’s degeneration of the original text, points to a source of knowledge derived from nature.
The microorganism’s growth over the text of the pages of a book is analyzed by a computer vision program that tweets the results of the fungi’s consumption of the text. A bot replicates this as a [de]generative algorithm that corrupts a digital database of texts on humanity’s impulse to dominate nature. The story of this fungal colonization of human knowledge is documented in the twitter feed and screened alongside the video of the fungi’s growth. The bio-digital fungi respond to Internet users’ mentions, engaging people in the spreading of these “digital spores.” Completing the loop from humanity to nature and back, literature students analyze the fungal tweets.