the cloud collective uses suburban viaduct to cultivate algae
all images courtesy of the cloud collective
for the garden festival genève: villes et champs, the cloud collective was selected to execute one of the 13 gardens for the summer of 2014. the occasion focuses on the co-habitation of the urban and the natural within the context of the expansion of the city. the site of ‘cloud urbaine’, a viaduct over a small highway, is particularly violent and quite out-of-tune with the idea of the landscape as a peaceful natural haven. instead, the installation is meant to emphasize its character and tries to prove that even these locations of traffic and car dealers – despite their anonymous and generic character that is seemingly devoid of any artistic value – can play an important role in the production of food and plants.
a closed system of transparent tubes, clinging onto the bridge is used for the cultivation of algae, which grow exclusively on sunlight and CO2, both abundantly present on the site. these organisms can be used to filter air, as combustible biomass, or even as raw material for different cosmetic and alimentary products. a steel structure, supporting all the secondary equipment such as pumps, filters, and solar panels, functions as a marker for the quickly passing traffic and provides explanations on a more detailed level for pedestrians and cyclists.
the movement and placement of this bioreactor signals practices of the future: the harvesting of goods in the dense environment of a metropolis, the conservation of green space, and the reinterpretation of existing infrastructures.
passers-by can watch the organisms grow and change color
the viaduct is transformed into a site for cultivation and production
the movement of the algae reflects the flux of cars and busses below
the viaduct is in a suburb of geneva called ‘lancy’
the bioreactor is clearly visible from the road
feeding on CO2 and sunlight, the placement of the algae on this site makes perfect sense
bus connections, soccer field, and car dealers, the site is a typical example of suburbia