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aquaphonic garden

Cart (24"x36"x60"), poolfish (Ravi, Nathan, Prince), plants, pumps, pvc piping, glass and acrylic fishtank, salvaged white cedar frame, Phillips LED red and blue grow lights, documentation: broadsheet print (11"x14"), research images (44 8"x10" archival inkjet prints).   (2015)

aquaphonic garden is a modeled system of an indoor-outdoor aquaponics research station, small fish farm, and vegetable garden, constructed in collaboration with Matej Vakula for the Sunview Luncheonette. Parked inside for the winter, in the warmer months, the food system sculpture will reside in the Sunview’s backyard, and will function as a mobile information point for the local distribution of printed media containing drawings based on digital data collected in the garden and a toolkit for neighbors to build their own fully contained indoor gardens as an alternative to planting in their crude-oil-soaked backyards.  The garden is equipped with Arduino monitoring sensors and Phillips red & blue grow lights which project only the plants’ favorite slices of the color spectrum (“plants prefer red & blue, they reflect green which is why they are green” ~ publication). A red and blue 3D blueprint plan and instructional broadsheet about the sculpture was printed on the Sunview’s risograph and distributed in an edition of 1000 throughout the neighborhood.

Excerpted from the publication:

“When we first started working with Bea at the Sunview, the front window was filled with a tangle of plants, mostly overgrown spider plants and ivies, that over the course of the first winter had frozen, thawed, and froze again. Eventually they were hauled outside by an impatient film crew and never brought back (their pots still reside in the garden, sans plants). It always felt like a loss, though we get more light now, and Bea has brought in fake flowers and a couple of plastic potted plants which aren’t so bad. When Dylan started talking with Matej about a project to create an aquaponic growing structure as a sculpture in the Sunview’s window (and back yard), it was these first plants they had in mind. They had also wanted to build a garden in the Sunview’s back yard, but with the oil spill and all (you know just the largest oil spill in US history) and the toxic plumes, they had no desire to actually plant anything in the ground, fearin’ what it might bring up. They decided instead to build an indoor/outdoor mobile aquaponic sonic phonic hydroponic garden. Aquaponics is a viable system of growing plants alongside fish in a symbiotic circle of life/waste in which the fish poop is used to fertilize the plants and the plants give the fish a reason to live, which then cheers the Sunview up over the cold winter while providing fresh herbs and small vegetables to members and the public.”

Designed and exhibited at Sunview Luncheonette, Greenpoint, Brooklyn in 2015.

The project was initiated through a grant from The Ministry of Culture of the Slovak Republic program ProSlovakia, with plants donated by SproutHome, and poolfish sourced from Brooklyn’s World Class Aquarium (click here for more on that…)