Clothing bales with wasted garments under a compost heap
and brown beech mushrooms
Fashion is not meant to last. It’s adored only for the moment, nowadays all the more ephemeral. But we hardly think about where it goes once it’s past. The tale of an industry responsible for 10 percent of global carbon emissions is far from chic: globally millions of tons of textiles waste is created each year, almost two- thirds of clothing castoffs are heading directly to dumping grounds and another 10 percent are getting incinerated. Export to the Global South does not only ruin local markets, landfills overseas are heaping up. It can take up to 250 years for synthetic fibres to decompose. The contaminated fantasy needs an urgent metamorphosis.
Fungi: Nature’s decomposers & recyclers
Without fungi and the metamorphic process of decomposing our planet would suffocate covered under layers of dead material. Fungi are the great decomposers and transformers. They digest dead matter and bring it back to life. Fungi are also the great connectors. Underground mycelial networks of intertwined organisms are revealing a new story about the planet’s ability to cooperate and heal itself.
In 2021 & 2022 I'll make further research on the process of decomposing (donated) old clothes & fabrics with fungi & other microbes and organisms in a compost environment.
It evolves from the first experiments I made
with mushrooms and a compost heap during
my residency at 'Kunst in der Natur', 2020
(see further below)
FOOD FOR FUNGI
and other organisms and
micro-organisms in a compost heap
After a few weeks up to some months
natural fibres will almost completely
Synthetic fibres, such as polyester, leak chemicals and can take up to 250 years to
Fungal and bacterial filaments in fabric
Detail on decomposed cotton
after just 14 days
Below the documentation of
the first research I made
Mushroom & Mycelium
Residency: Kunst in der Natur, am Wachtberg, Waldviertel AT
On July 15th in 2020 I made a stroll through the Wachtberg
forest collecting 28 various fungi.
I wrapped up the different fungi findings
in an old sheet and buried it altogether
under a heap of Wachtberg compost and soil.
14 days later, on July 28th the mushroom flesh
was almost decomposed. Leaving it's traces
and spores, colouring the old bedsheet.
Mycelium worked through the cotton, on it's
A symbiogenetic artwork
in collaboration with various fungi
Just after digging up
& washing off:
Detail of the sheet with fresh fungi & sporangia drawings,
Just washed away rests of earth, fungi & compost.
Here drying on the grass.
result after only 14 days:
and other life in the compost
ate parts of the sheet
Below the 28 mushrooms that I collected in the forest around
that were drawing in & working through the white sheet:
I can not name all the mushrooms or fungi yet, also because some started to perish, but I'm studying on it.
Flesh of the earth
Detail of drawings in the corner - right - above
Detail fungi & sporangia below the center
Detail of the sheet, floor left side
humus soil with a St. George's Mushroom
Detail of the sheet with
floor right side
humus soil with a
My mushroom & mycelium drawings in the pavillon with visitors