David Rose, “John Cage in the History of Mushroom Enthusiasm” (Audio)
The influence of John Cage on the development of amateur mycology is profound, but like fungal mycelium is largely evident underground. While the zeal for mycology is rare, there have been several naturalists whose enthusiasm for the mycologically strange has charmed others into a passionate quest for understanding the fungi. John Cage helped to nudge awareness of mycology toward the mainstream in a history of mushroom enthusiasts that is replete with quirky scientists, obsessive taxonomists, spectacular fungi, and crazy politics at the intersection of art and science.
John Cage was an enthusiastic mycologist who expressed his interest in fungi in his music, his text compositions, and his visual art works, as well as in his lifelong mushroom collecting and identification activities. Organized by the John Cage Trust, John Cage Mycology Day, was a one-day event, featuring a mushroom walk and afternoon presentations, that celebrate Cage's passion for mushrooms and his multifarious contributions to mycology.