Being Slime Mould
Being Slime Mould: a participatory experiment exploring collective intelligence
Being Slime Mould sets out to test human capacity for communication and cooperation in comparison with a single celled organism, the slime mould, Physarum polycephalum. Whilst it has no brain or central nervous system, the slime mould demonstrates primitive intelligence and an impressive capacity for collective action.
Being Slime Mould is a participatory experiment inviting groups of people to engage with non-human notions of collective intelligence. Originally devised by Heather Barnett in collaboration with Daniel Grushkin, the experiment was first tested on a group of random strangers visiting the BioDesign exhibition at the New Institute in Rotterdam in September 2013. The experiment prompted spontaneous collective action and rich conversations about social agency, bacterial communication and human psychologies… amongst other things.
The emergent process has since been adapted to suit different participants, contexts and environments, each variation generating new behaviours and interpretations of the collective body. By following some simple biological rules we can observe complex behaviours emerge.
As a creative communication workshop or team building exercise Being Slime Mould can be adapted to suit different group and organisational needs.
Contact Heather to discuss how embodying the behaviour of an intelligent single-celled organism can enhance human communication and cooperation.