From January to March 2023, we stayed in Tokyo, at TOKAS (Tokyo Arts and Space), having been selected for the ‘2022 creators’ residency program’, a program of the Tokyo Metropolitan Foundation for History and Culture and the Tokyo Metropolitan Museum of Contemporary Art’s Tokyo Arts and Space Department. Within the residency program, creators from Japan and abroad are invited to produce work and conduct research, with the aim of promoting creative international cultural exchange.
During our stay we continued with the “Growing Fabrics – On Air Growth and Form” project that we launched in Barcelona last year, and conducted research on the ecology of the microbiome of urban green spaces – mainly street gardens in Tokyo’s residential areas – and explored the symbiotic relationship between microfauna and flora, be it a blade of grass, a flower, a shrub.
At a certain point in our research we sought the symbiotic ability of plants to photosynthesise and regenerate and oxygenate urban areas. Examining, life growth and material formations: focussing on growth patterns in potted plants when they photosynthesise.
This led to new work we embarked on of which we were first surprised by. In short, the piece comes down to making terracotta flowerpots that photosynthesise manufactured in an uncanny and unseen symbiosis between man-made craftsmanship, mediated through a 3D-printed terracotta pot, crafted in symbiosis with cyanobacteria, the oldest inhabitants of Earth’s ecosystems.
This is what came out of our research on street gardens and the ecology of urban microbiome and underlying microbial life of fauna and flora with the flower pot as the main building block.
Our residency at TOKAS has now come to an end and we would like to thank warmly the whole TOKAS staff for their continuous support. This was an extreme rich and precious experience which allowed us to make shift towards unknown fields, crossing over the technological into the biological realm through work on plant life of Tokyo’s street gardens and including them as a critical core matter of climate and environmental concerns.