Here’s another one from my strong favourites – the Spanish art group luzinterruptus, which in their installations (most often very temporary) puts a strong emphasis on environmental protection and pollution, issues related to recycling, waste etc.
This particular intervention entitled “Malas hierbas mutantes” (and again, I think this sounds better than English translation: “Mutant weeds”) concentrated on light pollution, “the most evident of theats taht can be found in Madrid, so much so that in our sky we can never see the Milky Way and hardly any stars. This overillumination is evident to the naked eye at a distance of more than 200 kms.” – the authors write.
This considered, they very surprised when City Council of Madrid changed the carefully prepared rules for illumintaed signed, adopted by the European Union in connection with the environmental pollution, making an exception for pharmacy signs, allowing them to be replaced with more powerful ones – the light that emanates from green crosses tints the surrounding with permanent, deep, vibrant colour. This also has another influence – the neibhbours living in the vicinity of pharmacies (and signs) have discovered their houses being chantged into “disturbing green places, in which life and the perception of what happens in them is altered, without being able to do anything to avoid it.”
The idea behind the installation Mutant weeds was to recreat a not-too-distant future, in which a new and hardy species of photosensitive plant, grows in the asphalt around the pharmacies, nourished by the photosynthesis of its powerful “low” light.
To accomplish this mission, the artists acquired fluorescent sticks, and gave them the form of blades of grass and placed them on the pavement, converting the reflections into small radioactive fields that produced a curious anticipation in the many citizens who walked the streets at those hours.