PLANTS OF
THE FUTURE




Designing post-naturalism for an impossible
eco-emancipated futurity.  (Version 2 coming soon)



This project is inspired and motivated by the deforestation of Cusuco National Park, Honduras, the loss of an idealized landscape that is one of the best-suited environments for biodiversity. Hydroponics, the science of growing and sustaining plants using only water and light, is meant to be a solution where the soil disappeared from the development of a plant, and therefore “unchained” them from the earth. I envision these “post-natural” plants as organisms of the future. I have uprooted them from the degradation of the planet, and from tiny dormant seeds, they know nothing but pipe, metal, and fluorescent lights. They have never seen the sun, and yet they thrive more successfully than their mothers, fathers, and predecessors. In doing so, I ask: can I uproot them further? Can I design a system in which all components are portable, free, and self-sustaining? How much more can I liberate my plants from the earth that is the source of their destruction?

This inter-disciplinary project addresses today’s environmental issues through the artistic metaphor of scientific spectacle. By combining a hydro-aeroponic system, custom-blown glass vessels, and a six-foot satellite dish, this piece is a symbolic reversal of one of the most primitive natural processes: the uptake of water by the roots of plants as they blossom towards the sun and sky.



I would like to thank my professor Rich Pell for introducing me to the concept of “postnatural,” my mentors Joe Mannino and Ali Momeni for the progression and completion of this project, Bob Bingham for the satellite dish, the Undergraduate Research Office, Jason and Billy from the Pittsburgh Glass Center, the STUDIO for Creative Inquiry, Stephanie Murray and the BXA department, and finally Christian Aponte and Benjamin Welmond for their unwavering support.
@ Miller Gallery; Pittsburgh, PA, USA (2013)









CONSTRUCTION













GARAGE HYDROPONICS
EXERCISES INTO THE MATERIALITY AND
DISCOURSE OF INDUCING POSTNATURALISM




Three experimental hydroponic systems that vary in complexity to fit the growing needs of maturing plants. The plants are sprouted from seeds - their entire existence begins post-naturally. This project explores the potential of technology and bio-manipulation to reproduce and replenish locations that lack or have lost natural flora, as well as limitations to do so. Consists of found objects, fluorescent lights, and pretty much anything you can find at Home Depot. This installation marks the halfway point of a year-long Senior Studio Project.










EARLY PROTOTYPES
INHABITATION & THE ICEBERG





Nothing short of an inconclusive experiment, this project attempted to grow plants upside down in a dusty, humid basement closet. This three-week long project transformed the closet into a sort of inhabited space for both the grower (me) and the plants. Simple drip systems were constructed on the second level of the closet to sustain both plants above and below, which shared the same soil bed.