Commissioned by Cultuur Werkplaats Tarwewijk
What will you think about when you hear there is a pandemic going on? I know I would think about survival. Survival is the most basic instinct for all of the animals, human included. The second thing that comes to mind is time. Suddenly time becomes an important player. When does the pandemic leave so that we can go back to normal? How long can I last with the resources that I have? How long will I survive financially? When can I see my friends again? And so on. In this project, I tried to play with these two notions. Survival and time.
An effect of the Covid-19 pandemic is that people are becoming more self-initiative. They are organizing ways to help themselves and each other using the internet and other possible ways. One of the behaviors that is becoming more popular is growing your own vegetable at home.
As part of a program by Cultuur Werkplaats Tarwewijk in Rotterdam Zuid, I was commissioned to create a sculpture using the framework of de Vitrine. The idea for this growing sculpture is to turn the glass structure of De Vitrine into a glasshouse. In this glasshouse, I have planted several fast-growing vegetables that can be harvested in under 30 days (which was the duration of the whole action). The plants include radish, kale, arugula, broccoli, summer carrots, zucchini, spinach, green onion, celery, and lettuce. Me and the volunteers from Cultuur Werkplaats Tarwewijk community watered the plants daily and took care of them until they were fully grown.
By the end of the period, we harvested the plants together with the community and made food with the vegetables, and ate together and talk about our quarantine experiences.
How does it work?
The plants on the top floor are microgreens that grow very fast. They need less water. And they are being individually watered using the water reservoirs they have under the soil. The water travels up from the cloth and keeps the soil moist.
The plants on the first and ground floor are larger and need more water. The soil automatically sucks the water from the large glass reservoir using natural ropes. The ropes will transport the water constantly to wherever the soil is dry. There is a network of ropes under the soil.