The Society released a new mobi-video last month, as part of fellow Society for Social Studies of Science annual conference 4S 2089 ‘Good Relations’. Spotlighting for the first time our Space-Time Fab Lab, an experimental research department within the Metta Verse Mutual Aid Space Program, it’s called ‘Fabricating Frequencies: Sounding Out Cosmic LiKIn with Space-Time Morphologies‘ and works as a kind of operatic instructional guide to prepare lichen lovers for participating in an upcoming Special Transmission. More details on that will be announced, in time, via the usual portals. Meanwhile you can all watch and sing along to the video here.
As part of our bonanza platinum anniversary celebrations last year, UK poetry journal Litmus have included a special feature article on the Society in their wonderfully-themed ‘lichen issue’. You’ll find also an exclusive preview of the Love Letters to Lichen reissue, with classics like C. Pinastri’s Possible ecological niches (pictured below).
This #5 edition of Litmus was published a little later than planned, coming out just after 2089 rolled in. You can now order a copy here for your lichen library!
A little delayed (again!), but our 2086 Summer Bulletin is finally out for all to read and enjoy. It’s nestled in a new publication edited by our old friend Vytautas Michelkevicius, Nida Art Colony: On Lines & Rituals, and released late last year through Vilnius Academy of Arts, Neringa (2087). Dr. Michelkevicius was part of the Society’s earliest days at the beginning of this century, and it’s lovely to see some familiar faces in this revised and reissued final installment of the excellent Nida Art Colony logbooks.
You can download a free digital copy for yourself or your local e-library here.
It looks a little like this…
The T. Rudzinskaitė Memorial Amateur Lichenologists Society held its Annual Convention 27-29 January this year at Linnaeus University in snowy Växjö, Sweden. Society co-convenors Tessa Zettel and Dr. Sumugan Sivanesan delivered the official Opening Address on Day One, with Dr. Sivanesan beaming in via spectra-link from the Convention’s Satellite program in the former west.
Highlights of the 2087 Convention: ‘Speculative Flummery and Cosmic Co-becomings’ included a keynote from the President of the Therolinguistics Association about the group’s recent trek to Pike’s Peak to decipher lichen lyrics on its rockface, a report from participants in our Forever Together vocational study program at Nefertiti Health and Beauty Salons (right here in Växjö), and a hands-on dia-sporing workshop run by some of our inter-pagan members.
A fortuitous overlap in university scheduling meant our attendees also had the opportunity to enjoy the tail end of another conference, ‘Multispecies Storytelling in Intermedial Practices’, and a seventy-hour-long more-than-non-human dance marathon to celebrate the 70th anniversary of leading intergalactic research group Dance for Plants.
Speculative flummery was specially prepared each day by final year students from the University’s School of Post-lithoculinary Arts. A full report on convention proceedings will be published in book form later this year.
The T. Rudzinskaite Memorial Amateur Lichenologists Society is supported by the NSW Government through Create NSW.
Meeting point at Nida carpark
After many weeks traipsing through the dunes, forest and beach of the Curonian Spit, collecting spruce shoots, nettles, raspberry leaves and mosquito bites, talking to local biologists and foragers, concocting jellies and pancakes and fermented sodas, we finally hosted this year’s annual field trip & picnic on 22 June 2086!
Thanks to everyone who came along – amateur lichenologists, artists, interpagans and everything in between. For those of you unfortunate enough to have missed out on this special bumper edition (back on Lithuanian soil for the first time in decades!), here’s a taste of what the Society got up to.
Follow the fish!
Toasting the locally extinct arctic raspberry, and the miraculously alive-and-well wild strawberry, with wild strawberry kvass (fermented soda).
UFO landing site: space lichen, astrobiology and Cold War luxuries.
Flummery! Made with agar and blueberries from the old forest. With a side of Permian mass extinction and microplastic futures.
The Great Tuning Fork
A full report from the Society will be published in the forthcoming Nida Art Colony Log: On Rites and Terrabytes, due for release later this year.
Big cheers to Sepideh Ardalani for helping with food wizardry, Diana Pusko for foraging advice, the interpagan intentional community for their extraordinary un-caviar, and Nida Art Colony for letting us crash their symposium! See you somewhere else next year!
‘It’s not the age of reason … it’s the era of flummery, and the day of the devious approach’ –Trouble with Lichen (1960).
The T. Rudzinskaitė Memorial Amateur Lichenologists Society cordially invites you to its Annual Field Trip & Picnic to be held in 2086 on Nida. This year we are fortunate to gather on the UNESCO World heritage-listed biocultural landscape of the Curonian Spit, Eighth designated Eco-Zone and home to countless rare communities of lichen, as well as the wonderfully prehistoric (and once-extinct!) Baltic Sturgeon.
We will meet promptly in the carpark of Nida Art Colony on Friday June 22, 2086, at 14.30 for immediate departure. Enthusiasts are advised to bring a carrier bag and water, and to wear a hat, sunscreen and comfortable shoes for walking through forest and sandy terrain. Be prepared for mosquitos! Speculative flummery will be provided.
Numbers are limited, please RSVP by emailing. Hope to see you there!
This year the Amateur Lichenologists Society was invited to have a presence in Vilnius, with the opportunity to show some work alongside Žilvinas Landzbergas in the Vilnius Academy of Arts Glass Pavilion, as part of the exhibition Teleport to Nida.
That’s our life-size baltic sturgeon on the glass (long ago extinct in the wild), the exact length of the last one caught in the Baltic Sea. Here also is the text that went along with the display:
“Did you know that the iconic Baltic Sturgeon is considered a ‘living fossil’ that was for a short time extinct here in Lithuania? The Sturgeon’s ancestors survived ‘the Great Dying’ (the Permian-Triassic mass extinction event) some 200 million years ago, in which 96% of marine life disappeared. In 1996 the last wild specimen of this prehistoric fish to be found in the Baltic Sea was hauled out at a remote island in Estonia, 2.9 metres long and weighing 136 kg. In 2057, after decades of a committed reintroduction program, healthy adults born in captivity and released into the Neman River were once again observed at the Curonian Spit, leaping from the water in what some believe is a kind of communion with their oddly kindred space lichen.”
We visited the aquarium at Smiltyne recently, and though they don’t have any baltic Sturgeons there, they do have some close family members, who we were extremely happy to meet. Take a look at these wonderful characters, swimming across the millenia!
More experimenting with kvass, a fermented soda popular in Russia that can be made with any number of things.
Our second attempt uses wild strawberries – Fragaria vesca, ‘fraisier des bois’ – collected around the beach at Nida. Evidence from archaeological excavations suggests that Fragaria vesca has been consumed by humans since the Stone Age http://intarch.ac.uk/journal/issue1/tomlinson/part2.html#S711
Recipe from Sandor Katz here
Seems you basically just cover the berries in sugar water, 1:1.5 ratio, and wait.
We would have like to have tried this with the arctic raspberry or arctic bramble, the ‘superior berry’ (rubus arcticus) of the sub-arctic region, but that’s now extinct in Lithuania. In other places it’s also on the decline – in Finland the decrease in forest fires have adversely affected it (it likes the nutrients from forest ash and post-fire gets a better run than competitors); while in Estonia and Scandinavia, agricultural and forestry developments which drain soil have had an impact, since it likes wet soil and in dry conditions is overgrown and replaced by other species.
[image from https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/7/79/Rubus_arcticus.jpg/440px-Rubus_arcticus.jpg ]