Friday, April 16, 2010

The Genus of Genius

At some point all transcendent works of art and science are going to require some liberal combination of the two. While not every work of significance is required to reset boundaries, paradigms, and/or language, it's often these very things that are the result of such work. Academics call it cross-disciplinary, marketers say synergy, but to the creator it's just what makes the most sense.

Case in point: The vertical gardens of French botanist/environmental artist
Patrick Blanc. Besides turning the very notion of the garden on its side (he calls them Vertical Gardens), he's transforming gray urbanscapes and banal institutional spaces into lush micro-forests. Gardens to excite both the aesthete and engineer, and possibly the alchemist and magician as well.

The "garden" works something like in the way moss grows on rock: Plants are rooted into a synthetic membrane, gravity brings nutrient-infused water, and whatever isn't absorbed in its journey down the garden wall is recycled and used again.

Besides the obvious sculptural and textural aspects of the material there's a painterly quality as well; a bit of magic that allows the vertical gardens to inhabit a kind of two and three dimensional space simultaneously. But unlike mere decoration, it's this sacred element-of-life component that makes Blanc's work leap off the wall and into our every archetype of the sustaining and nurturing Earth Mother.

Or something like that. It just makes sense.

More information on Peter Blanc's vertical garden alchemy
here and here. And his impressive website.

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