The central image is one of my favourite images. A bird had built a nest in an electrical box at the site of an abandoned bottling factory. This factory comprised of a steel shed with a variety of tanks, equipment and conveyer belts scattered about the grounds, is now overtaken by vegetation and wildlife. All the sites shown here illustrate spaces that are in transition; places once habited by man that are now being reclaimed by nature. If these sites are no longer exclusively nature made or manmade then what are they?
The study of cybernetics can be used to achieve a deeper understanding of complex biological, social and ecological systems, and is used to help us understand the world around us. It is also a term used in reference to artificial enhancement in many ways including biological and social structures. As humanity expands, our social, political, architectural and transport networks spread across the globe and our influence over the planet increases. We implant structures on top of and under the ground, into the oceans and into the space around us to enhance our capabilities. Our influence can even be seen on a genetic level as we experiment with plant and animal life. The impact of our chemical pollutants can be seen across the planet. If we can refer to ourselves as cyborgs because of our technological implants, pace makers, artificial limbs, wheelchairs, or ipods then can we not go so far as to say that our planet too is a cybernetic organism?
I found these items along a gravel roadside of interest. On a smaller scale they illustrate the slow process of decomposition, paper will break down quite quickly, while the baler twine, the piece of plastic and the aluminum can will likely linger much longer. Each will break down into smaller parts to become part of the soil composition. This leads me to consider how much detritus could be combined with natural soil and still be viable for growing plants.
Alumninum can be recycled almost indefinitely, and paper is naturally biodegradable, while the baler twine is generally made from a polypropylene product designed to degrade. Plastic such as the clear sheet particle can last for many years lingering as tiny tatters like the one on the top right. The grasses wrapped around this piece of plastic are grasping it, nesting plastic fibres with its vigorous growth. Plastic and plant are enmeshed in a process of harmonious growth and decay that is illustrative of the insidious nature of plastic as well as a testament to the resilience of nature itself.