Mycoremediation sculptures

Josh Archer (2017)


“Mycoremediation Sculptures” is a series of living sculptures by Josh Archer that actively degrade and remediate toxins in the artists studio. Artists are often guilty of indulging in materials toxic to themselves and the environment. In an attempt to reverse this trend, these sculptures deromanticize these materials via there decay, and the beauty that emerges is from their remediation. These toxins include, cadmium paint, cigarettes and motor oil.



Pearl oyster mushrooms are known for being easy to grow and are a common edible mushroom in much of the world. Typically living off of cellulose from fallen trees, these mushrooms posses the unique enzymes required to break down hydrocarbons, and can sequester heavy metals from the soil like cadmium. For these reasons it is has also been a strong candidate for studies in mycoremediation (bioremediation with mushrooms). In each of these pieces pearl oyster mycelium feeds upon the toxins present in each sculpture.

Made possible with support from the Frank-Ratchye Fund for Art @ the Frontier.