On left: “Ubiquitous”; on right: “Flora”
1. The 2009 sculptures from Naoko Ito’s “Urban Nature” series, above feature tree branches contained in stacked jars. I like how she uses jars to do what jars generally do: encapsulating something from nature. What’s different in her case—(and a little… well, jarring)—is that their natural contents appear to have been preserved in place. There are even jars to contain the empty spaces between the branches.
When I first saw these pictures, I thought the jars worked sort of like 3-dimensional pixels—dividing up the branches into smaller containable bits that, from a distance, still comprised a recognizable whole.
Now I think they’re a bit darker than that. They are beginning to remind me of the inexplicable jungle-crystallizing virus in J.G. Ballard’s “The Crystal World.” Beautiful and uncanny, but ultimately representing an unsurvivable form of preservation. Which, come to think of it, is maybe a pretty good metaphor for food packaging in general.
(via: The Spring 2010 issue of the Visual Arts Journal)
2. This morning I happened to see a Huffington Post story entitled “Tree Life Box Creates New Trees from Packaging Waste.” Which led me to the Tree Life Box™ website.
“The Tree Life Box™ is made of recycled paper fiber. In this fiber, we have inserted a wide variety of tree seeds, up to a hundred, dusted with mycorrhizal
fungal spores. The mycorrhizal fungi protect and nurture the young
seedlings. For millions of years, plants and beneficial fungi have
joined together in a mutually beneficial symbiotic relationship.”
One caveat: I’m currently reading Barbara Ehrenreich’s “Bright-sided (How the Relentless Promotion of Positive Thinking Has Undermined America)” and I am, therefore, ultra-conscious (and a little embarrassed) that I may be ending this post on a very positive note. What to do?
Not that it significantly detracts from the carbon-offsets of actually growing trees—but, still, consider this… the first step in The Tree Life Box’s post-consumer afterlife: “1) Tear your Tree Life Box™ into large pieces so it will fit inside a plastic bag.”
Beach Packaging Design