[ISEA2015] Artists Statement: Amber Frid-Jimenez & Joe Dahmen – MYCELIUM MOCK-UP

Artists Statement

Mycelium blocks, LCD screens (2015)

Mycelium Mock-up is an architectural installation composed of a wall built of mushrooms with embedded screens that play looped videos and image sequences pertaining to urban aspirations and failures of the last two decades in Vancouver. The walls are constructed of environmentally sustainable blocks of agricultural waste and mycelium. Mycelium is the root structure of mushrooms, a thread-like fungus that plays an essential role in natural world, aiding in the decomposition of materials and converting them to biologically available elements. Vancouver utilizes global capital in an effort to reinvent itself as the world’s greenest city. This ambition, when combined with the mechanism of global speculative development, produces a paradox. Despite the presence of some of the most progressive and experimental urban planning policies in North America, how can global capital, with its attendant pressures to produce short term gains, construct a sustainable city? When space is a commodity exchanged on speculation, why not build as cheaply as possible? The installation engages with the cycles of demolition and speculative construction that embody these tensions through the use of video and next-generation sustainable construction materials.

  • Artist Amber Frid-Jimenez explores the role of technology in society. Exhibited internationally, Frid-Jimenez has been featured in the New York Times, Huffington Post and CBC. She holds a Masters from the MIT Media Laboratory and is a Canada Research Chair and Associate Professor at Emily Carr University of Art & Design, Vancouver, Canada.
  • Joe Dahmen is an expert on sustainable building technology and design. Dahmen holds a Master of Architecture from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and is Assistant Professor at the University of British Columbia School of Architecture and Landscape Architecture (Vancouver, Canada) and Faculty Associate of the Peter Wall Institute for Advanced Studies (Vancouver, Canada).

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