A Fungus Garden is a digital exhibition that invites you to know more about the importance of Fungi and the beautiful metaphors they provide to interpellate our own existence. Through 3D models of mushrooms, a 360º tour, videoart, live and sound performance, A Fungus Garden reclaims attention for these largely invisible organisms that are essential to life as we know it.
A Fungus Garden
The semantic universe of the word garden is often related to a designed outdoor space, either for leisure or the cultivation of edible plants. In the same idealized imagery, the fungi kingdom is represented through bright and colorful mushrooms, like the famous *Amanita muscaria. But what is the role of fungi in a garden?
Invisible organisms acting underneath the soil, carrying information through the ecosystem, digesting dead matter; fungi are among the most active components in a garden’s sustainability. However, it is estimated that we only know 5% of the world’s fungal biodiversity. In times in which human activity is altering our entire planet, learning from our natural recyclers will definitely contribute to a more sustainable future for humanity.
How would a fungus-only garden look like? There are some known fungus gardens made by termites and ants. These insects cultivate fungal mycelium inside their underground galleries in order to feed from it. Both organisms, insect and fungus, create a symbiosis that maintains the balance.
A Fungus Garden is a digital exhibition which invites you to know more about the importance of fungi and their marginality, being often associated with death. Through a multimedia online experience around the fungi kingdom, A Fungus Garden approaches human decay as a symbol of mystery and beauty, noticing the invisible webs in which we are embedded.
Museo del Hongo community
How would a fungus-only garden look like? A fungus garden Manifesto calls upon the local community of mycophiles that have collaborated within Museo del Hongo throughout its history. Converging perspectives from a variety of disciplines and research, in this round table we bring together ideas on how can we shape a sustainable, mycocentric future.
Alexandra Mabes (CL), Nicolás Oyarce (CL), Ana Rosa Ibáñez (CL)
Dance installation inspired by the decomposing course of action which fungi encourages. The shape of the body is deformed through the materials to portray the transformation and reconfiguration of matter in the decay.
Sebastián Calfuqueo (CL)
Digital video installation that reflects on the cosmological perspective of the Mapuche people in relation to mushroom harvesting. The artist will showcase his recent investigation at Museo del Hongo through an animated ‘Tale’, portraying mushrooms as a symbol for resistance for their communities post the “Araucania Pacification” period.
Konantü (Courtney Smith & Iván Navarro)
In these dark pandemic times, Sun Sun invites us to invoke the sun and its light through an interactive poetry game that defies syntax logics, imagining new ones under a limited series of 8 words and their mutual combinations. The exhibition includes a set of 64 cards to print and play at home, a selection of songs that are related to the sun and videos to demonstrate and exemplify how the game goes.
José Bidegain (CL), Futuro Fósil (CL)
Performative installation that reconfigures the value of the parts that constitute us as a living ecosystem. From the micro-political action of the arts and the organic macro of the fungi kingdom, this transmedial live experience uses sound to create new perspectives for physical and spatial perception.
Iván Navarro (CL)
Immersive footage of Vigilantes, Museo del Hongo’s second exhibition at Museo de Arte Contemporáneo de Valdivia. Three species of mushrooms were grown from scratch and displayed in the museum’s underground vaults, with illumination from Navarro’s light sculptures, to create a biomimetic exhibition related to the cultivation of fungus gardens by ants and termites.
Juan Ferrer (CL)
Digital installation composed of 3D models and a video that puts human body parts in conversation with a variety of mushrooms that grow in Chile. Our bodies are a fertile substrate for a complex microbiota that makes us who we are; this work aims to recreate a fungus garden within them, and to generate consciousness about the interconnection mycelium provides in nature.
Project Credits / Acknowledgements
Curator: Juan Ferrer
Artists: Juan Ferrer, Iván Navarro, José Bidegain, Futuro Fósil, Sebastián Calfuqueo, Alexandra Mabes, Nicolás Oyarce, Ana Rosa Ibáñez.
Collaborators: Courtney Smith, Especie Axial, Hueso Records, Fundación Fungi, Sala de máquinas.
This project is a cooperation between the Ministerio de las Culturas, las Artes y el Patrimonio, the Ministerio de Relaciones Exteriores | Gobierno de Chile and Ars Electronica