The power of plants

Troika’s latest project imagines a world where plants work to address pressing urban issues including recycling and biofuels.

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Troika’s PlantFiction proposes a series of five future plant scenarios that all raise questions about important urban issues. Handcrafted one-to-one models of fictitious plants are presented as photographs with an accompanying narrative set in London of the near-future.

Purchased for the permanent collection of The Art Institute of Chicago, the work can be viewed by the public until July 2011.

Imagined plants include some that would self-decompose to gain biofuels. There are also plants that excrete unique pigments to be used in security devices or that facilitate easier recycling. A creeper is created to sense air-borne viruses while a breed of mushrooms operates as powerful neuronal computers. Troika also imagine a future where plants are able to recover gold from electronic circuits buried in landfill sites, and explore the possibility of using trees as antennas.

The title of the work is a reference to the layers of fact, fiction, myth, history, radical thinking and research, which defines Western civilization’s present-day relationship with nature, culture, the city and the need to be more green.

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