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Wednesday, April 22 • 1:40pm - 2:00pm
Technology and Nature: Connections within the Greenhouse Aesthetic

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Resource scarcity is a constant and recurring issue, addressed initially by artists reacting to the 1974 Energy Crisis and the Rachel Carson publication “Silent Spring.” Art movements of the 1970s lead to land based installation art and experiments with sustainable design methods. This study has coined the “greenhouse aesthetic” to describe the intersection of plant and human needs in art and architecture. Artists of the 70s, such as Hans Haacke created simplified organic-to-inorganic microclimate relationships and Alan Sonfist installed gardens of indigenous plants that represent the identity of New York’s native ecosystem. This mode of making is also mimicked by the Earthship architecture of Mike Reynolds, the designs of “Naturhus”, as well as contemporary artist Mark Dion’s constructed environment, “Neukom Vivarium.” Likewise, these interests continue into the twenty-first century with Amy Youngs creates technology designed for plants but maintained by human participation, allowing for positive human-to-plant interactions. Vaughn Bell facilitates spaces where human and plant experiences are mutually beneficial, through a shift in the viewer’s perspective. This paper identifies a philosophical from the 1970s to the present in artworks and architecture from immersive experiences in nature, or lessons of how destructive human actions are to nature and mutually beneficial nature-human experiences. This research blends visual and experiential analysis of art works and architecture with the history of greenhouse innovations to reveal the philosophical implications plant and microclimate oriented technology has on art, architecture, and design.


Wednesday April 22, 2015 1:40pm - 2:00pm PDT
237 Owen Hall