this is a link to my instagram diary of me living with physarum polycephalum: https://www.instagram.com/blobxme/
Physarum Polycephalum aka The Blob
This slime mold exists for a very long time....it is definitely much older than mankind. There are estimates that it is existing about 500 millions of years. And not to forget. This is a unicellular. A unicellular with an immense amount of cell nuclei. But it is only one cell. It does not need more and it survived….years and years and years.
So I guess there is a lot to learn from it about life. But before I can start to ask questions, I first need to get to know its lifecycle and its living conditions. So I have to somehow cultivate it first and for that I must understand what it needs in terms of food and environment. For sure a cultivated PP is behaving differently than in nature and also I am just observing one phase of the life-cycle of PP. the phase before Sporangia. Sporangia is the phase when it builds spores… a form of reproduction…..after that it will go into a long time of recovery, and as I am observing it only for a little time now, the phase before sporangia is definitely complex enough to look at closely.
There are so many super interesting facts about it which I could also observe within the last month. For example it is super regenerative. If you would smash it completely it will restore itself after a very short time. And it is always hungry and curiously exploring its environment. When two blobs meet they unite and when you separate one blob the two halfs can live independent from each other. So blob is questioning for sure human constructs of mathematics. One plus one is one. And one cut in half is two.
And that is not the most exciting thing about this. For example the phenomena was observed by scientists, that they can exchange experiences. For example blob does not like salt, but it can get used to it and so when two blobs meet and one of them got used to salt, the whole blob then knows about this.
So blob remembers. It is one cell which can save data….
This reminds me of muscle memories…. Some weeks ago…..actually at the same time when I started the coexistence with PP I began to skate again….i started skateboarding when I was 15 but stopped it after some time. Now, 14 years later I observe, that at the one hand my muscles remember how to deal with the board from before, but also and this is much more interesting, that before I actually can theoretically understand what my legs are doing the muscles remember first. And by practicing the actual bodily procedure the theory of the movement forms in my mind contemporaneous. I learn how a certain trick feels and I get an idea of how it looks like. So the cells of my muscle are serving as a form of data storage.
I try to see the relationship between me and the blob and I am trying to compare blob’s behavior and needs, its way of life to my own life experiences. There are certainly parallels in my organism and PPs organism and there are structures and behaviors, which resemble.
I am living with this organism since 1 month now
What i am trying to do within my documentation is, to relate the observations i make to my own human life and vice versa…
This is more or less successfull. I realized, that i first have to get clear about the relation. I mean, you cannot compare an apple to the seeds of a pear for example.
Blob is an organism, which i dont want to compare with an individual human being like me. Blob is growing, but human mankind needs another form of reproduction.
This is the life of blob.
Blob is small
Blob grows, blob grows, blob grows.
Or when circumstances are getting more difficult,
blob can eather dry out completely, like falling in coma,
and could be waken up again by some waterdrops,
or it can change its physical appearance, by developing fruiting
and come back into life by spores.
Growing and growing and growing
Maybe i am able to produce another human with the help of a friend someday, but i have not tried yet.
But i will die. The construct of my conscience will change after my death, because the energy flows of my body will.
And this is the very different. I am not able to reproduce myself without another entity.
Blob is always hungry
I can eat but i am fed. I am fed up
So for me it is much closer to compare myself, or lets say, my limited mind,
with one oft he many nuclei of physarum. I am only existing, because of other human beings are so.
this is the very different
plasmodium. This is everything wich surrounds the nuclei of physarum.
the interpersonal. This is what is between me and the other human entities.
A newborn would not be able to survive without a form of human attention.
At least some studies say so.
Now we have a relation. Yes we are in a relationship.
Now we have to care.
What is care about?
Let’s say a warm feeling.
Could we agree on that?
Can illusion cause a warm feeling?
I imagine myself sourrounded by physarum polycephalum,
i would let it embrace me.
I can not force it to grow on me, but i will happily accept the image of blob on a gently cloth, sourrounding me.