Slime has become a millennial phenomenon, from its nostalgic roots within pop culture from the 80’s/90’s gross out movement – Ghostbusters ectoplasmic traces, bodily affect in Ren and Stimpy and Nickelodeon gunge through to its current incarnation within DIY slime/ASMR Youtube videos – the sensuous physicality of slime has become a temporary cathartic escape from the oversaturation of digital information, deadlines and the pressures of late capitalism. Millennials have sought out this phenomenological experience of comfortable, sensory nostalgia. To the participants of this slime culture, the material of slime has emerged as a physical embodiment of millennial collective memory matter form.
Meanwhile, scientific research is exploring the spatial memory capacity and alien intelligence of slime mould. Previously thought of as a type of fungi, slime mould, now understood to be a protist; a brainless cell which fuses together with other slime mould to form a collection of organisms working in collaboration for a shared goal. Termed as ‘living memory’, slime mould has proved that it can solve mazes, make decisions and learn by merging together. These memory based forms of an almost incomprehensible intelligence come to represent an ideal of collaborative working practice – alien approaches to rethink new forms of social interaction and alternatives to our current socio-political condition.
Commisioned as part of Same as it Never Was, Backlit Gallery's 10 year anniversary show, Emergence is an ongoing video research essay, exploring pop-cultural engagements with slime as a material and collating scientific and theoretical research around slime mould. Using only found media, narratives and theories are weaved together through multiple and conflicting voices assimilating into the film as one bloated and unruly entity.