Saturday, June 19, 2010
Ants weigh more than humans
One of my favorite, favorite books is Cradle to Cradle. A really wonderful fact (of many) that I got from reading that book was that the ant biomass is greater than the human biomass. McDonough uses this idea to compare our impact on nature with that of ants. Ants have a natural way of interacting with the environment without harming it (despite the fact that there are so many of them, more than humans). In his work, McDonough works to change the way we design things in order for humans work with the environment in a similar way.
The results he has had are really amazing. Water coming out of a factory cleaner than it went in, fabric from chairs that is so chemical-free you could eat it (he doesn't recommend eating it though), and office buildings with windows that open to allow fresh air to come in (this project was so monunentally different that it made headlines). The best part about his work is that it usually ends up being cheaper because of all the waste and destruction that is involved in our current industrial procedures. Another good part is that his buildings and factories are beautiful. And another good aspect about what he does is that he works with big companies who are doing so much of the harm and companies that reach mass audiences with the idea that these sort of changes will become infectious.
So...while realizing that art is not exactly environmentally friendly (trying to think of ways to fix or offset that. hmm), I hope for this simple idea, expressed visually as a painting, to ignite changing opinions, ideas, and practices for anyone who catches a glance.
I plan on submitting this to artSPARK. Fingers crossed!
Didn't make the artSPARK deadline, but here is Ants Weigh More than Humans. Finished. I wasn't sure about it a little but feel pretty good now. Trying to echo the fragile but simultaneously strong idea of ants/humanity/ and the world.