Carbon Neutral + Carbon Negative Art
Rupert Bunny Visual Arts Fellowship, Research Project and Artwork, 2020
CAPTURE is a new PluginHUMAN research and art project involving carbon art: carbon neutral and carbon negative materials and working practices.
The combination of art and science in CAPTURE gives the audience incredible insight into the beauty of the natural world.
During the research phase of this fellowship PluginHUMAN developed compostable biopolymers that contained high-carbon organic waste materials. The organic waste materials were processed and sealed in compostable biopolymers and were placed under microscope and photographed. The images were animated using generative computer processes, producing a video artwork that reveals the hidden organic structures of this carbon art project.
DETAILS OF THE PROCESS
PluginHUMAN live and work in an area of Melbourne (Australia) that features historic Platanus Trees (plane trees). These introduced species are both loved and loathed by locals. The leaves do not easily decompose in domestic compost systems, so the huge quantity of leaves that are dropped by these trees every autumn mostly ends up in landfill. Once in landfill, the leaves can contribute to a build-up in methane, a gas that is worse for the environment than carbon dioxide (CO2).
PluginHUMAN collected large quantities of plane tree leaves. Research shows that these leaves are high in carbon and their slow decomposition rates may help slow the release of carbon from their leaves. They experimented with sealing large quantities of these leaves in their custom-made compostable biopolymers. The intention was to use high-carbon biopolymers as a sculptural material. They photographing the biopolymers under a microscope. Their experimentation has involved sea-weed as the main biopolymer ingredient, as this helps reduce the carbon footprint of the materials used.
Betty Sargeant ~ Artist
Justin Dwyer ~ Artist
This project has been supported by the City of Port Phillip through the Rupert Bunny Foundation Visual Arts Fellowship.
RELATED CARBON ART AND ECO ARTWORKS
PluginHUMAN have created a series of environmental artworks. CAPTURE is part of a wider body of work. Betty Sargeant and Justin Dwyer have created numerous environmental artworks and art lighting sculptures that provide audiences with immersive and interactive experiences. These include the immersive light installation BREATHE and the projection mapping video artwork CONCEAL.
PluginHUMAN is a multi-award-winning art duo led by Dr Betty Sargeant and Justin Dwyer. PluginHUMAN are at the progressive edge of their field, providing audiences with new cultural, environmental and scientific perspectives. Their artworks address the leading questions and concerns of our times.
PluginHUMAN’s real time art centres around the art of illumination. They create projection mapping, video artworks, and led immersive multi-sensory environments. They use the medium of light to translate complex data into meaningful audience experiences.
PluginHUMAN has created commissioned artworks for institutions such as the National Taiwan Museum of Fine Arts (Taiwan), the Asia Culture Centre (South Korea), Questacon (Australia’s National Science and Technology Centre), the Melbourne Museum (White Night Festival, Australia) and Experimenta (Australian triennial touring media art exhibition). They have exhibited in Europe, North America, Asia and Australia. PluginHUMAN were awarded the Rupert Bunny Foundation Visual Art Fellowship (2019/20); they’re developing new carbon neutral and carbon negative materials and working methods. They have also won Good Design Awards (2020 and 2018), and a Victorian Premier’s Design Award (2017).
PluginHUMAN has an acute understanding of the role that technology plays in contemporary society. They reimagine new technologies to produce artistic innovations, creating meaningful large and small scale audience experiences for indoor spaces and outdoor public arenas. They specialise in immersive and interactive art environments.