Claudia Müller

The environmental conditions that fungi require in order to proliferate depend on water, temperature, and oxygen. The current environmental crisis is the result of an imbalance that has mistaken these common resources for assets.

Fuente is a compartment that provides the environmental control needed in order to cultivate oyster mushrooms (Pleurotus ostreatus), one of the most well-know edible species in the Fungi Kingdom. The compartment must not be opened, for it contains a closed water circulation system that works as a water dispenser and a platform upon which the fungi can grow. This greenhouse of sorts imitates the fountain located right in front of the museum, the place where the piece was supposed to be mounted before social unrest and protests affected Vicuña Mackenna avenue, the city, and the entire country.

On the second floor of the Museum, a security camera projects what is happening inside the compartment while protecting the principle of non-intervention, of sacredness and mystery. The generation of environments favorable the cultivation of lifeforms appears as a concept that questions the role that humans have assigned to themselves, assuming their superiority and the right to control and intervene in life cycles. In the book Designing Environments for Life (2012), anthropologist Tim Ingold proposes the importance of the coexistence and co-development that corresponds, precisely, to the way in which fungi live, forming a rhizomatic structure, and the association of mycelia with plant roots, generating an interconnections between all of nature’s players.