Flowering Desert, Chile
The flowering desert is a climatic phenomenon that occurs in the Atacama Desert, known as the driest place in the world. The phenomenon consists of the blossoming of a wide variety of flowers between the months of September and November in years when rainfall is unusually high. The flowering desert involves more than 200 species of flower most of them endemic to the Atacama region.
“Javier Fernandez and Donald Ingber of Harvard’s Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering “emulated” Mother Nature to create a material similar to plastic, but nature-friendly. They called it “Shrilk” and created it from very essential material: the hard coat of shrimp’s shield and the silk protein in the spiderwebs.
The former is made of chitin, a polymer derivative of glucose that can be found not only in shrimp’s shield, but also in the cellular membrane of fungi and the exoskeletons of insects. This substance is quite though (think of the work you have to do to get rid of shrimp’s shields when you want to eat some!) and in fact has been used as a protection through the evolution. The latter is made of silk fibroin, a structural protein that is flexible and though at the same time.
When combined together, these compounds generate a material that exhibits the strength of an aluminum alloy at half its weight, while being clear, biocompatible, biodegradable, and micromoldable. The bioinspired laminate exhibits strength and toughness that are ten times greater than the unstructured component blend and twice that of its strongest constituent.
It should be inexpensive to create this material since chitin can be extracted from shrimp’s shields (a waste product of the shrimp’s industry) and from boiled silkworm’s pupae.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has already approved Shrilk’s ingredients, which would make it easier to use for medical purposes. But, before any application, the manufacturing process of this new exceptional biomaterial must be improved as well as some structural proprieties.”
Between The Two Of These
The installation employs infrared cameras to sense motion on location. Movement from the street causes fragmentation and destruction of the projected scene. Between the Two of These creates an active parallel between two present spaces. The constant de/reconstruction of digital representations is an entry point to themes of the temporality of memory and the poetic duality of virtual and physical space.
The figures were scanned with the 123D Catch iPhone app. Some were museum busts and some were friends, and family members.