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Hybrid Art – Dust Blooms: a research narrative in artistic ecology

Credit: Alexandra R. Toland

Alexandra R. Toland (US)

Dust Blooms juxtaposes the beauty and function of urban flora using a synthesis of artistic and scientific methods. With her project the artist seeks to call attention to the relevance of the urban ecosystem.

Her transdisciplinary examination of the dust filtration capacity of flowers consists of three parts:

1. Field research

The dust of seven flowers that grow wild in Linz directly next to streets with heavy traffic is collected and analyzed using light microscopy to determine the type and amount of dust particles.

2. Representation

Tiny details from historical illustrations of plants are digitally “grafted” together and engraved in plates. This illustrate how the graphical representation of these plant species has developed over the last 350 years.

3. Modeling

Sculptural prototypes based on the micro-morphological features of the dandelion (taraxacum) are made from materials from today’s consumer society. Current atmospheric dust levels are measured with integrated instruments and the obtained data is made freely accessible.