Juan Ferrer, Natalia Cabrera, Sebastián González
Hypha is an immersive virtual reality experience that turns the user into a mycorrhizal fungus from the species Stephanopus azureus. This experience aims to provoque a mutation for whomever feels it, thus transmiting the power held by fungus for purifying the Earth from ecological dissasters produced by humans. From spores to mycelium to mushroom; the user can experience a mushroom’s life cycle and incorporate the importance of the Fungi Kingdom as the main recyclers of the planet.
Throughout the experience, the senses are submerged in the pansporia notion –the arrival to the Earth of extraterrestial organisms on meteorites. Fungi’s metabolism is incorporated, allowing to feel their enzymatic and recycler capacity, also the essencial symbiosis between plants and fungus, forming the mycorrhize, growing the carpophorus and liberating spores. All of these phenomena are essential for the biological cycles and give notice of the interdependency of the actors that bring natural balance to the ecosystem.
All along it’ss history, the planet has survived climatic phenomena that have devastated all forms of life installed on it’s surface: glaciations, meteorite impacts, draughts, fires, eruptions from megavolcanoes, among others. These have radically transformed the Earth. The current crisis, is the first one to relate directly to our own way of inhabiting it. A greater collapse of our ecosystem can happen when these variants destabilize as a result of contamination, loss of diversity and global warming. The mycologist Paul Stamets warns that, oif we do not start behaving as a responsible species and mantain the rhythm of ecological destruction, the biosphere could expulse us as a virulent organism.
Hypha makes visible, through the use of virtual reality technologies, the fundamental recycling role that carries out the Fugi Kingdom. The small theatre built in biomaterials, has the shape of Omega 𝛀, becoming much more than a metaphor, a symbol of the end and the new life. The floor that sustains it is covered by a rug, reminiscent of the forests’ grounds.