Hortense Le Calvez


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Airspray, 2013

HD projection with sound, 1m 46s

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The Phytoplankton is a microscopic organism at the foundation of the food chain and the most important oxygen provider of the atmosphere. Airspray is a kinetic sculpture which activates when air is pressured in its iron structure, then its “tentacles” rise and descend when air escapes from the shower heads. This coarse creature could be a futuristic mechanical plant, its absurd role as an air fountain, would be to produce more oxygen to help with the decrease of phytoplankton. Is it possible to manipulate to a global scale the balance of chemical elements? Can global engineering be done? It certainly fuels debates. The Iron Hypothesis of John Martin suggests that fertilizing oceans with iron could allow phytoplankton to multiply. The organism could then massively absorb the carbon dioxide dissolved in the water and reduced global warming. The geo-engineering discourse continues to blur the frontier between the natural and the artificial.

Artworks by Hortense Le Calvez

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