A Hello from New York City: Biosphere(x) Introduction

Hi Edge Ryders! We were introduced to you guys by the Woodbine Hub in NYC. We wanted to introduce ourselves and hopefully get more involved with this epic OpenCare endeavor. We are eager to learn and share at the same time.

Biosphere(x) is a group effort towards permanent culture[s]. A dedicated cadre of people with different histories and common visions, we strategize to leverage existing infrastructures, cutting edge research, obscure histories (from the point of view of our common mother cultures), and practical direct action in order to create new possibilities within the dominant one.

With a vision of a world that is better than we found it, we believe it’s imperative to remember the root all problems are social, and they require social solutions to address.

In the past couple years, Biosphere(x) has focused in a couple of areas. In our physical practice of Permaculture design, we operate 3 separate sites where we have implement small scale holistic land management. Community food events are also weekly occurrences which range from fermentation parties, spice making, weekly meal preparations. We design and fabricate bespoke tools and structures both out of necessity and principle. Each indoor aquaponics operation and mycelium cultivation system we build and operate provide us with insight for the next iteration. One public facing service we offer through the engineering and fabrication wing of b(x), BxM, is building loft structures for friends and friends of friends. Many of the members of b(x) practice intentional physical movement as a reaction to modern sedentary expectations. This has led to an emergence of weekly calisthenic exercise groups in the various parks of NYC, more focused movement clinics for interested non-Biosphere(x) peoples, and team practice of field tactics. With this non-exhaustive list of programs we aim to maintain a readiness to address uncertainties of the future, as well as stay rooted in the present.

It’s evident to us that changes are predicated upon small consistent steps. Between every monthly public facing project are smaller daily practices and rituals. For every harvest there are many sowings, for every skill share there are numerous meal preps. It’s not that we have discovered something new, but more an acknowledgement of the long now. It’s our hope that as a group we will ultimately construct the reality we seek, and be able to be of service to other individuals and groups in a common struggle against industrial complexes and spiritual death.

We look forward to interacting with people on here leading up to the OpenCare event. Feel free to reach out to @liz_biospherex and I if you guys are in our neck of the woods. More info can be found on our website: www.biospherex.org

A

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Welcome, then, @aquamammal and @liz_biospherex.

Wow, that seems impressive. I browsed around your website a bit, but of course still have questions! Where can I find more information on BXM, and also on this intentional physical movement you speak about?
Background: I am one of the permanent residents of The Reef, and we are always looking out for easy, low-effort practices that can improve our long-term health and reduce our environmental footprint. Nothing comprehensive like what you guys do, just small things. Right now @noemi is spearheading an effort to reduce our use of plastic packaging.

Hi Alberto!

BxM, short for benevolentXmachine, is a flexible unincorporated entity (at the moment). It started out as a media production crew, mainly for Hip Hop, but now it’s morphed to be hardware oriented. It’s not the most streamlined operation, since our members do work full time jobs and we have wide ranging interests, it is being structured so that it can be a serious contingent in the near future for our material needs. The Instagram hasn’t been updated in a while, since we aren’t very media savvy and have limited bandwidth, but it attempted to document some of our earlier projects.

https://www.instagram.com/benevolentxmachine

Intentional Movement draws upon the current zeitgeist of self improvement through “movement”. From more well known public figures like Ido Portal (and the various people that this dude “took inspiration” from) to schools body work/ body awareness like the Feldenkrais Method/ Alexander Technique. Personally coming from a Hip Hop/ Bboy Bgirl background, I’m more interested in “healthspan” right now. Where it’s unusual to be able to live a physical lifestyle in corporate urban environments unless you have a gym membership, I guess our group’s fondness for constantly building structures enables us to move around a lot! So we try and train to maintain full mobility to ensure we are able to perform complex duties.

You might have seen this on the site already, but here is an example of a some what major build that would double as “movement” for us. We would like to make our energy expended translate to actual infrastructure, and not solely lifting heavy weights (which we do sometimes no doubt)

https://www.instagram.com/p/BT7v6AHjcii/?taken-by=biosphere.x

The Reef’s vision sounds mad solid! We are all for physical space which then enables new forms of relations/possibilities. Looking forward to seeing more!

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We do have a common gym membership (cheap in Belgium). The issue is that of motivating each other by sharing activities. Here, we have not been able to go very far. I run; one of my housemates takes long walks. Shared physical activities is an empty set. Maybe this problem will be solved by having 20 people in the house instead of five, when it becomes much easier to match your preferences and time availability with those of at least one other person!

I did not know Ido Portal. That attitude seems more conducive to art-with-body-as-a-medium than to health care. I’m happy if I can do 30K a week. :slight_smile:

If you join us at the festival, come over and I’ll show you the Reef prototype!

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This is super cool, thanks for sharing @aquamammal ! The community at our biohackerspace in Ghent (BE) and in our jobs we’re experimenting with many of the same technologies: edible insects, black soldier flies, fungi, aquaponics, … Always with the idea of connecting waste streams, but it’s been too much work to actually keep recycling things on a regular basis. Props to you for taking it on :-). At our popup lab location, some of our friends did build a mushroom hut connected to a small greenhouse for CO2 and O2 exchange.

On your website I don’t see anything on mycelium materials. Have you looked into that? They’re pretty new and still in development, but a fun way to recycle waste into building materials & experimenting. It’s one of our main expertise areas and if you’re interested, we can share our knowledge on the materials with your community. Some of us are actually heading to New York around 18 September, would be cool to meet up.

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I’m so looking forward to it!!

Yeah, movement has become a bit more decoupled from “productivity” for my personal liking (though there is a lot of contradictions to unpack there. I’m constantly asking myself, why do I want to move more? to what end? Maybe these questions themselves are symptomatic of a culture too obsessed with optimization and “progress”… but oh well…

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Most definitely, we definitely got to meet up.

We have been messing around with dehydrated lion’s mane mycellium. Been shaping them on a CNC machine. Though we would rather eat it! haha.

Definitely let’s make plans. You are going to tour a couple hacker spaces or what?

I was asking the same a few years ago. I used to sport to be more productive in studies, work etc. It does help. And then the same mindset led to a hardline commitment to improve prestations in the sport, always stronger faster and further.

Yet then disaster struck and I got dealt several physical and lasting injuries. Now I have to do sports to stay healthy, mainly physically but also mentally. If I quit or have eg. a sprained ankle or a bad cold, I’ll be in pain within the month. Though, I actually enjoy it more now. It’s a way of staying well and balanced physically, which is reflected mentally.

I don’t really believe in the productivity thing anymore, it doesn’t seem sustainable in the long run.

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Oh, cool! I’d also prefer eating. Does eating lion’s mane also have the ‘coffee effect’? We grew some of them as well with the idea of extracting the active elements, but the guy championing the experiments went inactive before we could.

I’ll be in Oakland/San Francisco to work with the Open Insulin team at Counter Culture Labs + visiting other hackerspaces from 9-18th and then from 18-26th Boston/New York for the Biosummit.

We land in Boston on the 18th and then plan to take the bus down to NY on the 19th. The conference begins on the 21st, so might take a night bus back. So some time on the 19th or 20th is best. If you’ve got mushroom spawn and a way to work sterile (±), we can even do a demo/workshop :slight_smile:

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Sounds good. I can see what our bandwidth is like at that time, but would be awesome opportunity. @liz_biospherex

Liz has been commercializing it at the moment: http://mane-tain.com/

Personally I don’t feel any stimulating effects like coffee when I consume it. I assume it’s a really playing the long game in terms of the nootropic effects (if any). The research seems so suggest it’s like some Panacea. I’m a bit more skeptical, but I’m down for a diversity of consumption, so no loss there.

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Hi @winnieponcelet,
I would love to hear more about your projects when you are NYC! Just checked out the link to the biohackerspace in Ghent. Rad! Seems like there is a lot of overlap. I can produce or procure some spawn before you are around and perhaps we could do a little experimenting. I’ve been using a glove box for my sterile work, which has its limitations, but is adequate for my needs for now. If we are interested in coming up with a demo/workshop during that time, I can find us a space! Let me know. I know this is a workshop people have been interested in… Which materials have you been using with your mycelium structures? The Biosummit looks really cool as well. Looking forward to chatting more!

Hi @liz_biospherex ! The substrate we usually use is hennep, shredded straw or beech. Supplemented with spent coffee grounds, flour, sugar, perlite among other less common ones. For the materials, Coriolus versicolor and Pleurotus ostreatus have worked best for us.
If you can get your hands on one substrate and one supplement, a small mold, some rubbing alcohol, cooking pot + stove and spawn that is relatively fresh & clean, we’re good to go. We’re there only one evening on the 19th, so if people are interested like you say, I can give a demo/workshop then :slight_smile:

I’m curious to see your work too! I’d like to learn more about cultivation of lion’s mane and maybe see an installation you’ve made with Biosphere.

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Hey Winnie, what would you need for a workshop??

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  • Cooking pot
  • Stove
  • Autoclave (second cooking pot will also do)
  • Substrate (hemp fibres, straw, sawdust, wood shavings, …)
  • Coffee grounds
  • Mushroom spawn (or fresh big pieces of mushroom to cut up)
  • Desinfection alcohol (or H2O2)
  • Saran wrap
  • Bunsen burner / camping gas burner would be cool

It will take ~2 hours to prepare as well.
Alternatively we can just do an interactive lecture/discussion on mushroom materials.
Best to let me know via text!

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