I have worked up some digital sketches for both the NGV and ACCA - of a tillandsia plant airplane embedded into the side of the building which I showed at the Re Generating Community conference.
Super Sustainable city
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Art & Environment - beyond comment!
Super - sustainable art practice is where the practice and work produces a greater environmental and or organic output than the work consumes. I am experimenting with living suspended tillandsia sculptures that grow with minimal water in hot and dry climates. The only maintenance required is the trimming the new growth which provides more material from further work.
In terms of new work and ideas on environmental issues and sustainability – As you know I am very passionate about this and always working on it.
As part of the concepts of this work I have been concerned about how many environmental artists have been making works that comments on the environment, but ironically does not contribute to the environment.
So while the content of the work might comment on contemporary environmental issues we use the commentary to justify the use of materials and processes that affect the environment. It is time as artists we developed other practice that steps beyond mere comment.
Recently I have been questioning the unsustainably of our acclaimed art institutions like public art galleries and the gallery practice of collecting and maintaining work in buildings with high energy demands. In many ways it just another aspect of the consumer society and no different than housing estate and shopping center development that much of the work is critical of - the idea that we can endlessly continue collecting precious works and storing them in stable environments while also developing and building more new art galleries with similar demands is an impossibility.
Recent information suggest there are more people that have lived on the planet in the past 10 years than in all recorded history combined, and that the social structures of our cultures and societies allow more people to work on creative projects that in all recorded history added together. For instance there are more art galleries exhibiting and collecting work now than at another time, there are more art schools producing more graduates than ever consuming greater quantities of art materials. Also the advances in technology have allowed artists to work at larger and larger scales - photography for instance has evolved from small 8x10” prints to huge mural sized works.
I am not critiquing the creative process as a means of expression and communicating ideas – this is fundamental to humanity - but I do question the structure of how we do this in the future.
So this is why I am experimenting with new plant works which would not only comment but contribute. As seen in the plant airplane works below, living plant works can be used in ways that make critical comment but also contribute. In fact rather than adding to environmental degradation, the process of maintain these plant works would actually create further organic living material to create other works on the sides more sterile buildings.
I have worked up some digital sketches for both the NGV and ACCA - of a plant airplane embedded into the side of the building which I showed at the Re Generating Community conference with a marked reaction.