The Mycelium shoes are currently in process. Bryson is growing a pair of mycelium shoes to be worn in a remediation performance in the San Juan River which was polluted with over three million gallons of toxic mine-waste in 2015. This environmental disaster took place near Silverton, Colorado, at the abandoned Gold King Mine when an EPA cleanup crew punctured a hole in the mountain with a backhoe where the waste was being stored. The cascade of toxic waste spilled directly into the Animas River, and eventually met the San Juan River. Both of these rivers are vital resources for communities throughout the arid Southwest region, but particularly for Native lands. In the years since, little has been done to reverse these impacts, and much of these metals still line the river bottom.
Through a mycoremediation process called biosorption fungal mycelium can immobilize heavy metals within their biomass by merely coming into contact with heavy metals. The mycelium essentially acts as a magnet – binding immediately with the metals. The shoes that are growing in the lab are designed with biosorption in mind to be worn in a river walk. If successful, multiple shoes will be grown so that, as a community woven together, toxic cleanup matters can be taken into our own feet.