Monday, June 06, 2005

plant torture

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anyone who was ever a kid understands the torture that we put dogs through. the dog always wants people food, and people always have it. you'll dangle a slice of pizza in front of the dog's face, it'll get excited, then you'll pull it away and eat it. its like the impulse babies have to throw things on the ground so their parents will pick it up. well now they've done an installation that involves this same cruelty, but instead of babies or dogs, its plants that we're tormenting.

the project: infotropism installation has two trash bins on either side of a pedestal. the pedestal has a plant in the center, and two growth lights on either side. if a piece of trash is placed in either bin, the corresponding plant light will turn on for a brief period, causing the plant to live in a constant state of confusion as to which direction the sun actually is in. it also encourages students to actually throw their shit away, since trash is made fun. researchers also noticed a small increase in recycling behavior (one of the bins was for recycling) because of the way the experiment activated the trash space.
this installation is an exhibit of how technology and robotics could affect the living world in very simple ways. it is not difficult to imagine this technology being used to form entire gardens in strange but wonderful patterns. like plant system sculpture. the installation also seems to "wake up" a space that normally appears to us as sleeping. trash cans are something we rarely think of or notice in our daily lives, like everything else.

idea via we make money not art

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