The augmented reality (AR) installation Gardens of the Anthropocene posits a science fiction future in which native aquatic and terrestrial plants have mutated to cope with the increasing unpredictable and erratic climate swings. The plants in the installation are all derived from actual native plants in and around the Olympic Sculpture Park that are tolerant respectively to drought on land or to warming sea waters, and are therefore expected to adapt to the increasing temperatures to come.
Beyond this actual scientific basis, however, the artwork takes artistic license to imagine a surreal, dystopian scenario in which plants are "mutating" to breach natural boundaries: from photosynthesis of visible light to feeding off of mobile devices' electromagnetic radiation, from extracting nutrients from soil to feeding off man-made structures, and to transgressing boundaries between underwater and dry land, between reactive flora and active fauna.
This video shows Antennate Farewell to Spring flowers feeding off the energy of the viewer's mobile device, and flying Bullwhip Kelp Drones feeding off storm surge detritus.
For more on the plants of Gardens of the Anthropocene, and for the actual climate science that informed the project see:
Summer 2016 commission (June 25 - September 30, 2016)
Seattle Art Museum Olympic Sculpture Park
To University of Washington Professors Josh Lawler and Julian Olden for their advice and support in this project. As co-directors of the Center for Creative Conservation they foster creative and meaningful approaches to conservation and sustainability, including EarthGames, dedicated to making environmental change through games. conservation.uw.edu/