Living Tower Talk #1

So much to learn. So much time.

19 mei 2023

What can we learn from a mycelium pigeon tower? How can the interaction with other species reshape our perspectives?

In the spring of 2020 Arne Hendriks started building pigeon towers with living waste mycelium from an oyster mushroom farm. Since then they’ve lived, prospered and died within Amsterdam’s urban space. They’ve become part of the local ecology around Mediamatic, inviting both human and non-human life into its entangled networks.



Inside of a pigeon tower - Photo Credits: Arne Hendriks

In the process of learning by doing the towers have become generous, unpredictable, humorous multispecies teachers on how to infuse dead urban environments with wild and feral life. As we enter the 4th year of living with, and acting as agents for, these strange tower-like creatures we resume our program of inviting guest speakers, do-ers and thinkers to translate some of the messages the towers share with us.

Living Tower Talk 

The Living Tower Talk serves as the debut installment of the fourth season of Arne Hendriks100 Years of Learning masterclass. Clemens Driessen talks to Arne Hendriks about the moral and political implications of pigeon mycelium entities, about the ritualization of work-related interspecies activity and the taste of revolution.

The initiative aims to bring people from all walks of life together to explore what can be learned from other-than-human species. The event is intended to foster collaborative learning and encourage innovative thinking that goes beyond conventional perceptions. What makes it particularly intriguing is that there is no predetermined outcome- rather, we will chart our course together and embark on a journey of discovery.

We'll discuss our findings and insights in a circle, creating a space for open dialogue and collaboration while enjoying a steaming bowl of warm mushroom soup.

Join us, and let's expand our horizons together.



Friday 19th of May

Full price (inc. meal) 11,00€

Student (inc. meal) 7,50€



Arne Hendriks is guiding the pigeon tower project. He is an artist and researcher on human ecology, who explores the borders of specific cultural values that define our relationship with the planet. His projects include The Incredible Shrinking Man, that questions if it's possible to downsize the human species to better fit the earth and Fatberg, the building of an island made of fat. As a regular Mediamatic collaborator, he directed several projects to draw attention to our (sometimes twisted) relation with the planet and its resources, like Kool Abundance, The Starvation Experiment, and the building of a holy pigeon tower out of recycled newspapers.

Clemens Driessen is assistant professor at Wageningen University. The premise of his research is that nature is deeply cultural, as a result, it affects the way we comprehend concepts such as agriculture, animals, nature, and food. To study the 'moral geographies' around these themes he draws on a variety of approaches, from Science and Technology Studies (ethnography, history and philosophy of technology), as well as Animal Geography (multispecies ethnography) and the Environmental Humanities (arts and design, literary history, environmental philosophy). In combination these generate opportunities for experimental interventions within a 'more-than-human' geography.