Once I was in a bus in Japan and I had a vision of being in a forest at the same time as being in the bus. These two are often seen as antagonistic, but we must find ways to unite them.
The Car garden merges two apparently divergent entities to suggest a future cohabitation. On the one hand we continue to use fossil fuels in transportation and on the other hand we must change our relationship to the earth to one that is more sustainable. This a ‘complex duality’ because it is not a simple dichotomy between transportation or reforesting. Plants filter the air we breath, and inside the Car garden you can explore the Neighbourhood air project while breathing cleaner air.
Neighbourhood air is an epiphyte growing in the Car garden. The work is an ambient software that responds to environmental sensors. Cars, breathers of city air and temperature and humidity circulate in a slowly moving monitoring system. This interactive, online artwork gathers live pollutant levels from Auckland city air. Auckland is New Zealand’s largest city and despite the ‘100% PURE New Zealand’ tourism campaign even geographically remote cities have air quality problems that the winds can’t disperse. Pollutants from vehicle combustion in Auckland, New Zealand in the Southern hemisphere circulate in the same atmospheric container as cities like Albuquerque.
To plant and regenerate the earth’s remaining oxygen producing forests can heal the atmospheric imbalance created by vehicular emissions, alongside crucial changes in human car usage. Somehow we have to leap over where we are, to be where we want to be.