Portal Door Shroom Slug
Video projection within the immersive installation, an Experimental Space for Reconnection with the Natural World, v1 which explored the idea that we project our realities; that what we determine to be solid and ‘real’ is in fact consciousness perceived through the filters of our brains, and sometimes our hearts.
As ethnopharmacologist Dennis McKenna (Terence’s younger brother) stated in a 2014 interview with Joe Rogan, “We have to re-understand our relationship to nature, we have to realize that we’re not separate from nature.”
Over many years I have cultivated an experiential understanding of stones, plants, and fungi which seems to be a remembering of what some indigenous cultures have never forgotten; that these beings are our ancestors and teachers.
“How can a plant be intelligent? It doesn’t have a nervous system, it doesn’t have a brain, but it clearly displays intelligence…[Plants] substitute biosynthesis for behavior. They can’t react to their environment through behavior, they can’t run away, they can’t fight…They fight through chemistry.”– Dennis McKenna
I am interested in how certain plants and fungi have the biochemical capacity to bring us in touch with our core essence as humans – and in how deep states of mediation may bring about the same effect – which for me opens my consciousness to recognize its inherent connection with the natural world.
“Mushrooms aren’t plants, so maybe that’s part of the disconnect,” says Dennis, who refers to mushrooms as “plant teachers,” since that is how as they are often regarded by indigenous cultures. In fact, the DNA of mushrooms is closer to human DNA than it is to the DNA of plants. “People ridicule the idea that mushrooms might have come from outer space and so on, and on the surface it seems like a ridiculous idea, but you look a little deeper and maybe not so much,” Dennis muses.
“Certainly in this evolutionary process of cognition which we credit the plants for, if we wanna buy into that idea, we can credit the plants for bringing about cognition, the ability to wonder, the ability to speculate…Well you can’t wonder very much if you’re looking down at the ground all the time, you gotta look up. When you look up you [think], ‘Oh. There’s this whole universe out here, and what’s our connection to that?’”– Dennis McKenna
“We dwell in a hallucination. That’s what the brain does. It creates a model of reality that we live in. We never experience reality. We take it on faith really that there’s an external reality out there, but everything comes to us through the filter, and is processed and extruded if you will into a more or less comprehensible – most of the time – model of reality. And that’s where we live. Reality is out there somewhere, it’s unknowable. But we’re getting signals through this sensory neural interface, and then the brain is basically a processing device that takes that information, combines it with internal association and everything, and generates the hallucination that you and I and everybody else are living in at this very moment. We’re all part of this constructed reality. So, people dismiss it as – psychedelic experience as – hallucination. I would say, no, it is, but it’s just another hallucination, and it’s all hallucination.”– Dennis McKenna
“It’s all buzzing electrons, most of it’s empty space, this table is not solid, it’s mostly empty space, it’s all energy, and energy fluxes. We don’t experience the world that way, most of the time, sometimes on psychedelics we do. So maybe we’re getting an actual peek into the way it’s really constructed; we get to look at the circuit board and turn it over temporarily and look at it, ‘Oh. This is how it’s wired.’ This is the reality generating machine that you get to look at when you take the cover off and look at the way it’s – the diagram – is wired. Then you get some insights into it. So then, that’s a useful thing because then you can go back and you can say, ‘Well, none of this is real. Let’s not get carried away that this is any more real than anything else.’”– Dennis McKenna
Experimental Space provided a dreamlike environment incorporating biomimetic sculptural elements, digital projections, and sonic frequencies, and invited a rethinking of what living spaces – and the humans within them – have the potential to become.
From the bottom of the stairs through a veil of transparent fabric, guests could see Portal Door Shroom Slug mapped into a door panel at the top of the stairs. The soundtrack for the video was an edited and more distorted version of The Machinery Generating Reality.
“None of it’s real, it’s all real.”– Dennis McKenna