I'm very interested in the application of Reconciliation Ecology concepts to Fine Art. Through sculpture and installation, it's possible to restore habitat, enhance ecosystem function, and break down the implied wall between spaces that are 'human' and spaces that are 'wild'.
For some background on the whole theory of 'Reconciliation Ecology', see this review.
Other sculptures, also constructed from concrete, have filtered water in public swimming facilities (The Gift of Water), and polluted wetlands (Veden Taika).
One potential alternative for constructing biosculpture is ‘Coffee-Clay’. In Australia, materials scientist Tony Flynn has constructed water filters from a 1:1 mixture of coffee grounds and clay. When fired to maturity, these filters can provide safe drinking water in impoverished regions.
There area lot of interesting questions associated with using these objects in a field setting.
- Will they serve as effective physical filters? Will this capacity change across time?
- Will they become 'biologically active' (colonized by bacteria, algae, other organisms) and will this facilitate the breakdown of nitrates or other contaminants?
- What 'recipes' for making these objects will optimize their functionality?
I'm currently working with an undergraduate student to explore these questions, and we plan installations in several sites, starting with the Arboretum in the heart of Moscow, Idaho.