Launched at SXSW XR 2023
Are you a mushroom lover? Whether the answer’s yes or no, it’s one thing to have an opinion, another to spend two years photographing fungi! That’s what Forager did. Led by Winslow Porter and Elie Zananiri, this team of tech wizards, storytellers and farmers wanted to develop an immersive experience around mushrooms. The installation they have created allows participants to live through the life cycle of these non-animals, non-vegetables, in minutes. Forager’s hope is that they form a stronger bond with nature.
You're in a forest, and mushrooms are sprouting around you. Underground, mycelial networks silently extend their reach.
Picture yourself mushroom-sized, surrounded by cameras. That’s what happens when you become a participant in Forager. You’re transported to a forest, inhaling its scents, its sounds. You see mushrooms bloom from a tree stump and – incredibly – close-up, from your hand! You sink through the stump as delicate mycelial threads grow up your forearms. By moving your arms, you can attach these threads to the roots of neighbouring trees… This journey inside the beautiful, strange world of fungi puts Forager participants at the heart of nature. They see and experience it, becoming part of the story and maybe future mycophiles.
FEATURED DEEP DIVE
The team behind Forager invented 3-D scanning hardware and software to capture images of oyster mushrooms growing over time. Our deep dive examines how, by playing them back as hyper-realistic animations, they were able to create this mind-altering volumetric installation. And how their use of cutting-edge technology to tell a story about fungi resonated with On the Edge.
For Forager, their connectedness is what makes mushrooms a life force. Invisible to humans are the miles upon miles of mycelial networks that fungi grow underground. Through these, they transport nutrients to other plants, nourishing whole woodland communities. On the Edge was impressed with Forager's insights, its innovative technology, and their shared desire to use storytelling to connect people with nature. So we have become supporters. Watch this space!