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Event News: the Forager VR experience raises awareness about the crucial role the fungi underground world plays

Event News: the Forager VR experience raises awareness about the crucial role the fungi underground world plays

Image courtesy of the artists
Winslow Porter and Elie Zananiri.

By Anders Lorenzen

Have you ever wondered what life inside a fungus is like?

If the answer is yes and you happen to be in the London (UK) area then you are in luck.

Image courtesy of the artists Winslow Porter and Elie Zananiri.

Showing at the LFF Expanded exhibition at Bargehouse, Oxo Tower Wharf, until 22nd of October, is the innovative Virtual Reality (VR) experience Forager. LFF Expanded is a side event to the London Film Festival (LFF)

Using beautiful imagery and sound, in the VR experience you start the journey pre-fungi when the seeds are being spread around by the wind overground to the deep and fascinating underground system and then complete the eight-minute journey as the fungi end their life by decaying.

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The crucial life of fungi

It might not seem obvious to the average person but the story story of fungus and the one told in Forager is very much a story about conservation, climate change, and the future of human civilisation.

The joint Artistic Director Elie Zananiri told me that the project started as a lockdown fascination where everyone including himself got obsessed with buying mushroom-growing kits and from there the project started and ended up with the understanding of how crucial the fungi underground world is and how crucial it is to human life and civilisation. 

Image courtesy of the artists Winslow Porter and Elie Zananiri.

It ended up as an awareness and old-growth forest conservation project as they’re under threat due to ongoing logging activities thereby putting human civilisation at great risk. When you enter the VR experience you’re given a leaflet listing the ancient woodlands of the UK and a call to donate to the Fungi Foundation.

Image courtesy of the artists Winslow Porter and Elie Zananiri.

You can read more about the science of fungi here.

Forager as well as several other exhibitions LFF Expanded is showing until the 22nd of October – more details can be found here.

If you don’t happen to be in the London area fear not, but keep an eye on the Brooklyn-based projects’s Instagram page for info on where they will be next or contact them to organise a screening.

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