Most of us grow up thinking that clean water is good, while polluted water is bad, but that’s only because we approach these things from a human perspective. Just as plants rely on the carbon dioxide that we breathe out, each living thing exists in a biosystem where plants and animals need each other to survive. Mexican artist Gilberto Espaza has used this thinking to create his Nomadic Plants, and in the process, he teaches us something about the world we all live in.
Each plant is a self contained cyborg that holds both plants and micro-organisms, along with a microbial fuel cell that powers the robot. Whenever the robot senses that it needs nourishment, it will seek out a source of polluted water and take a drink. The robot uses the water to feed the plants and microbes, which in turn feed the microbial fuel cell that powers the mechanical parts of the Nomadic Plant.
Espaza’s goal is not to actually solve our pollution issues, but more to demonstrate that solving the world’s problems can involve thinking outside the box, something he’s clearly pretty good at.
The Nomadic Plants are being exhibited at the Laboral Art and Industrial Creation Center in Gijon, Spain, through June 7th.