LIFE SUPPORT SYSTEM
[HUMAN LABOR TO FOSSIL FUEL CONVERSION UNITS]
This artistic provocation seeks to estimate the orders of magnitude of critical ecosystem services, which are fundamental to all planetary life processes. It is common to describe our relationships with society, the world, and the biosphere with metaphors from economics, which has specific understandings of value. Today’s prevailing economic conventions are unable to recognize the intrinsic value of the ecosystems of the ecosystems on which all life depends. In cultures overdetermined by concepts from economics, we are left without adequate discursive instruments to socially or politically address the importance of the ‘ecosystems contribution’ to life on Earth.
This experiment consists of 1 square metre of wheat, cultivated in a closed environment. Critical inputs such as water, light, heat, and nutrients are measured, monitored and displayed for the public. This procedure makes palpable the immense scale of the ‘ecosystems contribution,’ and provides a speculative reference for a reckoning of the undervalued and over-exploited ‘work of the biosphere.’
Conception: DISNOVATION.ORG, Baruch Gottlieb
Web Developer: Jérôme Saint-Clair
Prototype Developers: Vivien Roussel, Thomas Demmer
Production: iMAL (BE)
Coproduction: Biennale Chroniques (FR)
DISNOVATION.ORG is a research collective set up in Paris in 2012, whose core members include Maria Roszkowska (PL), Nicolas Maigret (FR), and Baruch Gottlieb (CA). They work at the interface between contemporary art, research and hacking, and compose tailor-made teams for each investigation together with academics, activists, engineers, and designers. Their recent artistic provocations challenge the widespread faith that ‘economic growth’ and ‘technological fixes’ will solve the ecosystemic disruptions they provoked in the first place, seeking to empower Post Growth imaginaries and practises. They recently co-edited A Bestiary of the Anthropocene with Nicolas Nova, an atlas of anthropic hybrid creatures, and The Pirate Book, an anthology about media piracy. DISNOVATION.ORG’s works have been exhibited, performed, published and reviewed worldwide including at the Centre Pompidou (Paris), transmediale (Berlin), the Museum of Art and Design (New York), Palais de Tokyo (Paris), FILE (Sao Paulo), ZKM (Karlsruhe), Strelka Institute (Moscow), ISEA (Hong Kong), Elektra (Montreal), China Museum of Digital Arts (Beijing), and the Chaos Computer Congress (Hamburg).