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„Trawiaste” fotografie Heather Ackroyd oraz Dana Harvey’a

26 Czer

We are exploring the capacity of grass to record complex photographic images through the production of chlorophyll. The equivalent of the tonal range in a black-and-white photograph is produced in the yellow and green shades of living grass. Although these organic „photographs” are exhibited in a fresh state for a short time, excessive light or lack of it eventually corrupts the visibility of the image.

Sunbathers, 2000
Photosynthetic „photograph” on grass
dimensions variable

Field Study (Nant yr Eira), źródło fotografii oraz tekst tutaj.

The exhibition at The Mladi Levi Festival in the frame of the network Imagine 2020: Arts and Climate Change.

Our inquiry into how to „fix” these transient images has brought us close involvement with genetics through research with scientists at IGER (Institute of Grassland and Environmental Research) in Wales. These scientists have developed a grass that keeps its green color even under stress. In a naturally occurring variant of grass, they identified a gene for an enzyme that degrades the green pigment chlorophyll, and by modulating the expression of this gene, they were able to alter the grassís aging behavior and even stop it altogether. Through a plant breeding program they have introduced this trait, coined a stay-green, into a rye grass. The application of this grass in our work has subsequently led us to grow photographic canvases and then dry them. While the green blades retain their chlorophyll much more effectively than regular grass, the effects of other processes, such as oxidative bleaching, gradually occur and over time contribute to an irreversible loss of image.
The artistsí participation in this exhibition is made possible by the support of NESTA (National Endowment of Science, Technology and Art, UK).

Heather Ackroyd and Dan Harvey, Dilston Grove, 2003

Więcej informacji na temat artystów znajduje się tutaj.


Nomadic Plants

2 Maj

Ciekawy artykuł na we make money not art na temat wystawy Gilberto Esparza

Plantas nomadas

Photo Gilberto Esparza

Gilberto Esparza first appeared in the radar of bloggers a couple of years ago when he started colonizing Mexico City with Urban Parasites. Made of recycled consumer goods, the small robotic creatures explore the urban space in search of any source of energy they can feed on. Under its quirky, amusing side, the project also had the objective of providing a basis for a critical exploration of the role that technology plays in cities.

The dblt feeds on the energy that runs through electric wires. The species collects sounds in the environment and reproduces them sporadically. Photo Gilberto Esparza

Gilberto Esparza is currently showing one of his latest projects, Nomadic Plants, at Laboral Art and Industrial Creation Centre in Gijón. Just like Urban Parasites, this new work is part of a series of experiments that aim to stimulate a critical discussion about the ambiguous forces wielded by technology.

Vegetation and microorganisms live in symbiosis inside the body of the Nomadic Plants robot. Whenever its bacteria require nourishment, the self-sufficient robot will move towards a contaminated river and ‚drink’ water from it. Through a process of microbial fuel cell, the elements contained in the water are decomposed and turned into energy that can feed the brain circuits of the robot. The surplus is then used to create life, enabling plants to complete their own life cycle. As Gilberto wrote in our email conversation, „The nomadic plant is a portray of our own species. It also deals with the alienated transformation of this new hybrid species that fights for its survival in a deteriorated environment.”

Photo Gilberto Esparza

Image courtesy Laboral Art and Industrial Creation Centre

I’ll quote the artist again, this time from a text included in the press material for the exhibition:

The fact that a new species, the by-product of those alienating processes, appears -merely by coexisting- in those areas of ecological disaster represents a manifestation pointing to the serious social and environmental impacts on communities that once depended on rivers, now the source of their ailments. At this point, it is important to highlight the ambiguous potential of the transforming power of the human species, due to its ability to destroy but also to restore. For that reason, what is required is a new way of thinking, which would position us as antibodies on the planet, and a proper understanding of the importance of living in symbiosis with our planet and with all species.
Extracts from our online conversation:

When i first read about Plantas Nomadas, i immediately thought about Archigram’s Walking City because of the nomadic and self-sufficient qualities of Plantas Nomadas. But what was your actual inspiration? Sci-fi novels and movies? Ongoing research in laboratories exploring the possibilities of microbial fuel cells in robotics?

I have been researching and building autonomous robots that can survive in urban space, stealing the energy that the city itself generates. Later on, i found online some publications about research projects using microbial fuel cell. I was immediately inspired to develop a project that would engage with the issue of pollution in rivers. I visited El Salto Jalísco, a community very affected by this problem. I was therefore interested in making it the location of the intervention.

Drawing by Gilberto Esparza

Can you tell us which kind of plants and micro-organisms cohabit inside the body of your machine?

The microorganisms that live inside the robots are identical to the ones you can find in the river. I prefer to use the plants that used to be native to the river before it became so polluted.

How has the public reacted to your work so far? Both in Mexico and in Spain?

People liked it a lot because the project opens many doors on issues such as our relationship with nature, the thin line that separates the inert and the living and also the directions taken by scientific research which, very often, respond to the interests of the current economic system.

Thanks Gilberto!

Image courtesy Laboral Art and Industrial Creation Centre

The installation at Laboral features the robot but also a video of the process of its creation, a documentary showing the robot in action in the river Santiago, El Salto, Jalisco (Mexico), a series of photos taken by the artist and computers showing the project’s webpage.

Plantas Nomadas is on view at Laboral, Gijón (Spain) until June, 7, 2010.

Sztuka o naturze vs. sztuka natury

29 Kwi

W marcu pracowałam nad zagadnieniem sztuki zwierząt, pisząc pracę o „sztuce” psa Pimpka. I o ile samo stwierdzenie,  że coś zwierzęcego jest sztuką, może wywołać lawinę dyskusji, o tyle, w trakcie moich podróży w kwietniu mogłam się przekonać,  że jednoznaczne określenia „tak, to nie jest sztuka” lub „jak możesz twierdzić, że to nie jest sztuka?!”, w pewnym momencie wyprowadzą każdego na manowce. Wolfgang Welsch w swoim traktacie o estetyce zwierząt podkreślał, że traktując doznanie estetyczne jako doświadczenie wspólne wszystkim gatunkom na ziemi, możemy mówić o pewnym rodzaju estetyki zwierząt i roślin. Czy więc fascynujące kształty koralowca możemy uznać za sztukę koralowca? A wykwintne gniazdka altannika lśniącego, ptaszka zamieszkującego lasy i dżungle wschodniej Australii – czy możemy dopatrzyć się w nich estetycznych wartości, fundamentalnych dla pojęcia sztuki? Idąc za myślą, Welscha, tak.

Estetyzującą aktywność zwierząt i roślin warto zestawiać z ludzką działalnością – bo czemu mamy wyłączać ludzi z tego obiegu? Popatrzmy na przykład na to zdjęcie trzcin.

Następnie porównajcie je z „Instalacją II OO” Boba Verschuerena, zajmującego się sztuką z kręgu land artu.

Odrobina informacji o Verschuerenie, ze strony Digital Consciousness:

„Born in Brussels on 23rd October 1945, Bob VERSCHUEREN is a self-taught artist. With great humour, love and respect, he has become a « sculptor of the ephemeral » and a dream builder. Since 1978, Bob VERSCHUEREN has been working in and with Nature.

After playing with the wind and the elements in vast natural sites (the Windpaintings 1978-1985), the artist began further concentrating on his plant installations (since 1985) and on Nature as a material ; twigs, branches, leaves, pine needles, moss, sand, seaweed or even citrus fruit or potato peelings… when it comes down to it, ordinary materials.

By practising a sort of « amnesia culture », during his walks, the artist rediscovers the plants as though he had never seen them before. After collecting them, he carefully observes them, as it is their shape, structure and texture that guide his hand and spontaneously impose on the work according to the chosen location.

A teraz zdjęcie „storczykowej łąki”:

oraz praca „Kleine Kuppel” Christiane Lohr, niemieckiej artystki pracującej we Włoszech i Niemczech:

Jej prace można zobaczyć na wystawie „Statek kosmiczny: Ziemia” w toruńskim CSW, gdzie figurują wśród innych prac związanych z problematyką natury. Strona artystki tutaj.

Pora na architekturę zwierząt. Oto gniazdko ogrodnika brunatnego:

oraz praca „Holy Rope” (1992, Japonia) Patricka Dougherty’ego, rzeźbiarza fascynującego się prymitywną architekturą.

Więcej informacji o artyście znajdziecie na:

Patrząc na takie zestawienie, rodzi się pytanie: czy można i warto analizować sztukę ludzką, biorąc pod uwagę „sztukę” natury? Czy interpretacja „sztuki” natury jest możliwa w ludzkich kategoriach? Czy taki rodzaj analizy wnosi coś do naszych relacji z naturą? Analizując sztukę Pimpka, zaczęłam się zastanawiać, czy można patrzeć na nią poprzez kategorię abjektu – nie po to, by zrozumieć, co Pimpek chciał nam przekazać, lecz by zadać pytanie, czym dla mnie jest pogryziony przez psa koc. Oczywiście, możemy powiedzieć, że to tylko zniszczony koc i nadaje się na śmietnik, ale – kto wie? – możemy też go schować cichcem do sekretnego schowka i traktować jako cenną pamiątkę naszej współegzystencji ze zwięrzęciem….