The Life of a slime mold.

The great intelligence of a brainless creature.  

The slime mold created for the Amsterdam light festival 2017 pulse with light which grows outward, mapping their intelligent journey, like a pulsing illustration above the canal.  

Slime molds live as singular predatory organisms until a moment when resources become scarce and they decide to merge together and become a multi cellular beings.  This slug like creature, which is make up of thousands of free living amebae can move much quicker than the individuals and can more efficiently find a suitable environment to continue it’s life cycle.   During the whole process the amebae remain distinct individuals who make the choice to merge for the greater good of the species.  Once the slug like creature finds a new home it grows into a fruiting body and lets loose it’s spores to start another life cycle.  

 
 

The slime mold could be interpreted as an existential creature which wanders alone in until the moment it reached the height it’s existential crisis and realizes it can become a realized individual while also joining and embracing the world.  Together with his fellow slime molds it can achieve intelligent actions.  Slime molds can map the most efficient routes between food sources.  They can solve mapping problems and chart rail systems more quickly and efficiently than the human mind or computer programs we have created.  This simple creature seems from a human perspective to be be an existential being capable of high functioning problem solving, but knowing that the slime mold does not possess a brain may cause us humans to have an existential crisis of our own.  These strange and high functioning organisms make us question our own definition of intelligence and what creates a meaningful existence.  

 

Video by Chidi Onwuka