ecoLogicStudio has been designing and conceiving the project ‘the inhuman garden’ as part of the Globale: Exo-Evolution Exhibition at ZKM Museum in Karlsruhe.
‘The exhibition focuses on the artistic use of new technologies and opens up views into the future, in various modules. It shows us our new reality, which is shaped by 3-D printers and robots, cyborgs and chimeras, molecules and gene pools, wearable technologies and medical miracles, synthetic life forms, bionic suits and silicon retinas, artificial tissue and repair techniques, and new discoveries in space research, molecular biology, neurology, genetics, and quantum information science. It shows us visions and solutions for twentieth-century problems, such as separating oxygen out of CO2 to combat the climate crisis.’
“If we look at the earth as a territory devoted to life it would appear as an enclosed space, delimited by the boundaries of living systems [the biosphere]. In other words it would appear as a garden”Clement, Gilles
The etymology of the word garden comes from the German Garten, whose original meaning is enclosed or bounded space, in Latin “HORTUS conclusus” (1)
.H.O.R.T.U.S. Karlsruhe engages the notion of Urbansphere (2) as an augmented biosphere; the synthesis of renewable energy and nutrients for human consumption is reconsidered as an urban practice enabled by a novel bio-digital gardening prototype; the architectural apparatus transforms the archetype of the column into an high-density photo-bioreactor able to connect in space and time human metabolism to the proliferation of life within micro-algal ecologies such as cianobacteria cultures.
Flows of Energy [light radiation], Matter[proteins, CO2] and Information [data-feeds] are pro- cessed and fed back in real-time, stimulating the emergence of multiple mechanisms of self-reg- ulation and evolving novel forms of hybrid self-organisation.Visitors turned cyber-gardeners are invited to engage directly with H.O.R.T.U.S enriching their material experience of bio-digital micro-ecologies and embodying future urban cyber-gardening practices.
notes: 1. Clement makes this claim in his book “Il giardino planetario”; for him looking at the biosphere as a garden entails clearer responsibilities towards its stewardship; to the authors this claim also fits a new theory for the “antropocene”. As a garden the biosphere too is artificial and deeply influenced in its evolution by human agency. 2.The authors suggest to abandon the obsolete notion of biosphere to engage with its augmented alterego that we name the Urbansphere; cities we claim, far from being anti-natural, now extend in global networks of matter, information and energy that constitute the fundamental living habitat of our current urban civilisation; rather than seeking a return to nature we shall therefore aim at a complete biotechnological overhaul of urban infrastructures and architectural material systems to achieve a new and higher degree of efficacy in the combined living potential of biology and technology; this implies a renewed scope for the artist who is now engaged in the expansion of the field of application of both science and technology to achieve higher levels of applicability, from gadget to urban infrastructure to Urbansphere.