Imagine a banana tree living his life in a snowy valley near a hot spring, and minding his own business, some tomato plants living between a river and a moss field or a spathiphyllum in the middle of volcanic rocks in a thick fog. In the end it would be easy for us to do it. The real problem is why? What's the point of making a plant live by itself, it is just a plant. Maybe. But in the end we brought them here. It would be the least we could do. If humans walked on the moon. Oasis helped a spathiphyllum to survive in iceland. And it's almost the same.


Whether it is an interior plant used as an ornament, or a plant used for alimentation, both were domesticated and totally depends on human activity to survive. These traveled thousands of kilometers. These depend now on a totally artificial environment: our houses or greenhouses became these "natural" habitats. Here in Iceland, the development of geothermal power led to an expansion of greenhouses (also motivated by high prices of imported fruits). Oasis is confronting a plant to the environment where we moved her. Reducing the scale of its greenhouse, to allow her to be as an individual, a living being and not a human product anymore. Iceland is a relevant place for Oasis to happen. 

The development of greenhouses led to the growing of a lot of exotic species into a really hostile climate. Oasis is basically turning the plant into a cyborg, giving her all the tools that she needs to survive. In Iceland the lack of sunlight and the cold are making the life of a lot of plants impossible. But between the wind, rivers and hot springs, there are a lot of ways to produce heat and light. Thanks to a generator, a glass capsule and a simple rainwater collecting system, the plant becomes a real cyborg fully equipped to adapt her to an Iceland climate.

Why not a plant?

If this idea of cyborg is not relevant for a human, let's try with another living being. I found that a plant could be an interesting choice. Understanding a plant as a living being and not as an inert and unreactive entity is not obvious. A plant has reactions to his environment and stimulations. The idea was to reveal the plant as a living being. Thanks to an arduino computer I managed to create a visible reaction of a plant to touch.

A human already a cyborg

My first contact with the notion of cyborg was trying to make a cyborg hand for a human. Trying to think about this cyborg hand, i figured out two thing about the notion of cyborg. If we understand the cyborg as the empowerment of a living being through tools and technologies the human is already a perfect example of a cyborg living being. Our whole society depends on the tools and technologies and products that we create. This dependency is already established for a long time. But in this notion of cyborg there is also an idea of proximity between the living being and the tool: the tool totally merges with the body adapting this body to a certain purpose. However, the huge natural advantage that a human has is his hands. The hand contrary to other animal's body parts, has no specific function. A human can grab a tool, then his hand the tool and its function totally merge. But, maybe the most important thing is that he can drop it and take another one, changing entirely the function of his body. I see in the cyborg a fantasm to stick a function to a body , an act that can reduce the possibilities of use of a body and increase the dependance between humans and technologies.

Iceland University of the Arts

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