The Slime Mould Collective

An international network of/for intelligent organisms

Hello slimoco members,

I am giving a talk about multi-disciplinary research relating to Physarum polycephalum at a TED event later this month 
I will be sharing my own research, as an artist working with the slime mould, and will also be referencing published and unpublished research.
The structure of the talk will introduce the organism, some of the high profile published research (such as from Nakagaki, Adamatsky, Jones, etc) alongside unpublished research found through the Slime Mould Collective.
I want to draw attention to the amount of work being done with just this one species of slime mould, from different disciplinary perspectives - that many people from different fields are asking very different questions and employing diverse methods to explore this fascinating organism.
I want to include a range of examples from different disciplines and levels of expertise (i.e. scientists, artist, architects, school children, programmers, biohackers, others…), to represent the range of interest, inquiry and experimentation.
It's a TED talk so needs to be pitched at an 'intelligent generalist' audience, so anything that is visual and easy to explain in one line would be great to include to demonstrate the breadth and depth of research. Please post images/short description here or message me to send direct, stating that you are happy for your work to be included in the talk (I need written permission as the talks are broadcast online at
Still images should be c. 2000 pixels wide for high resolution presentation.
The talk is on the 23 June and the event organisers would like the content confirmed a week ahead, so by 16 June.

I hope you are happy to share your Physarum research and experimentation...

All the very best,


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Hi Heather,

Fantastic! Well done!


 Physarum polycephalum plasmodium is fed non-toxic fluorescent powder with its porridge (a technique invented by Dr. Simon Park) and allowed to forage freely over damp paintings made by Sarah Roberts. Physarum secretes the powder as it moves around.  So human and slime mould artists collaborate to reveal stories about themselves in the stuff they leave behind as they explore incontinently over watercolour paper. The viewer reads the paintings with their own gestural improvisation using a small ultraviolet torch in a dark room.

Images here:

Please feel free to use any or all of these images for you talk, let me know if you need more, or different, or different formats etc.

All the very best,


Brilliant, thanks Sarah - lovely images! I'll let you know what I use.

Is there a title for the images?

All best, Heather

Hi Heather, I think I called that painting 'some pieces of mind'.

Good luck!


this sounds great.

i facilitated a community art/science workshop last summer in troy, new york, with a group of high school students.

we polled neighbors, students, and community leaders to make a geographical map of important places in our neighborhood (sites producing "positive change" in a poor neighborhood that faces increased evictions, foreclosures, racist policing, crime, and lack of job prospects) and then used slime mold to visualize the connective nexus that underlies all of these geographically separate places -- the main take-away from using polycephalum was the horizontal/resilient network-building analogy -- that individual nodes in a greater network don't have to be specialists or siloed in order to make an impact on a neighborhood and a community.

here's the workshop description:

as well as a video with some documentation from the workshop:



Hi Blaine, Many thanks for sharing your event - a great example of grassroots community activity.

Do you have a still image which shows the map (geographically and Physarum network)?

How would you want to be referenced (artist, educator, ?)

All best, Heather

Hi Heather,

I've got some ongoing research which may be relevant. In short, I'm working on a physarum inspired model for spatial organization within the context of architectural design. It's based on principles of chemotaxis similar to those presented in "Characteristics of Pattern Formation and Evolution in Approximations of Physarum Transport Networks" by Jeff Jones. Each spatial entity is represented as an autonomous agent whose goal is to accumulate a certain amount of floor area while maintaining appropriate adjacencies with others. They accomplish this through the deposition and detection of virtual pheromones which diffuse through a shared simulation environment acting as a means of communication and coordination.

The research began as my thesis in architecture school, but I've continued to develop it since - finding application within the early stages of larger scale projects. Here's a video showing the model in action on a mixed-use tower for example. If you're interested, I'd be happy to export some high res screen captures for the talk.


Hi Dave,

Thanks, would be great to include.

The challenge is to capture each project in a single slide with a one line description, to demonstrate the breadth and depth of investigation, analogous exploration and modelling with Physarum.

Please do send a screen capture.



Great. Here's a link to the images via Dropbox.

Also, to simplify the description a bit - the model applies mechanisms of self-organization seen in physarum to space planning and architectural design.

Hi Dave, Thanks for these. I also looked at your other vimeo stuff. I want to show an example of agent based modelling and your 'mouldy network' based on Jeff Jones work would be a perfect backdrop to this section. Would you be happy for me to include [mouldy networks] or [occupying and connecting]

instead of the architectural modelling? - it's visually engaging and more immediately understood than the architectural model and will make more sense within the narrative.

If so, can you send me a high res version via dropbox. and correct credit i.e. "David/Dave Reeves (discipline: architect? designer? computer scientist?) Title.

Many thanks, all best, Heather

Hi Heather,

I photographed physarum polycephalum growing, and composited the images into a video loop:

Thanks Dan, I remember looking at this when you first shared - some lovely footage. Time is very tight in the talk, so I suspect I won't be able to include additional video for this one, but appreciate you sharing. And hopefully there will be a few more visitors /members for the Slime Mould Collective after the talk. All best, Heather


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