“Zuggtmoy rules the 222nd layer of the Abyss, officially called Shedaklah, although according to her creator Gary Gygax, it is called Mycorji. She shares this layer with Juiblex, the Faceless Lord. Also called the Slime Pits, Shedaklah is a duo-layer: its surface is overran by fungi and plant creatures while its underground corollary is infested with oozes and slimes. It was with the efforts of Zuggtmoy’s lieutenant, Yibiyru, the Rancid Lady of Bitter Bile, that Juiblex didn’t conquer all of Shedaklah.”
Park of of the work of a dark vitalism is the sickening realization of such an image. Steven Johnson’s Emergence begins with Toshiyuki Nakagaki’s work on slime molds in which he made one of the amoeba like creatures find a path through a maze towards a food. The mindless functioning of life, of life moving towards goals without any form of intelligence – creatures that function in a completely bottom up fashion. The thought is ostensibly disheartening in that chance and coincidence surpass telos and destiny and yet, at the same time, if emergence is essentially pattern recognition the question becomes whether emergence is merely an objective or subjective category? That is does emergence merely describe shifting pattern complexity or does emergence make a difference in an ontological or at least non-sensorial way?
To move into smaller ideas – the nightmarish microbial (vampire and zombie plagues, mind controlling parasites et cetera) which is tied to science fiction and horror realms easily suggests the temporal invasion of space by a dark vitalism. The aforementioned graphic novel and game Dead Space aptly portrays such tiny monsters in its necromorphs – parasites which take control and zombify dead tissue – life forms that act as a disease – as an infectant – but in fact are another (conscious) life form which has no concern for the fragility of human being(s).
Uexkull’s protoplamsms participate in such horror in that the amoeba is a pure productivity moved by and caught in the pure productivity of nature. The gap between the slime world and the fungus world is one of seemingly mechanized organization – that is the slime/ooze from which we came is not so unsetting since it appears (for us) as that matter which is waiting for potentiation whereas the slime mold, the fungus, appears as the same matter but active in its own regard. This activity of course was no special event as nature was all along interpenetrating everything around us and us as well.
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Tags: d and d, dark vitalism, fungus, ooze, slime