Machine for Living Interdependently, an artwork by Amy Youngs
The plants, worms and bacteria living in this sculpture rely on each other and on human participation. They are fed entirely on waste generated by us: coffee grounds and veggie scraps from our kitchen, old newspapers and shredded junk mail from our offices, and carbon dioxide from our breath. They are watered by our rocking leisurely in the chair, which mechanically pushes water up to the top of the ecosystem and causes it to circulate through each part; delivering to the plant roots aerated water that has been fertilized by the worms living in the stream.

Partnering with living ecosystems benefits humans too, as the plants provide cleansed air and the worms provide local waste disposal services. Worm composting keeps waste out of the landfill, saving us from generating more greenhouse gas. Methane is a greenhouse gas that is produced by rotting food, even inside of traditional, outdoor compost bins. Worm composting does not produce methane and it does not create odors. Breathe easy, and invite them into your home.

Short video here: vimeo.com/52050884

Special thanks to Ken Rinaldo, for project advice. Thanks also to Joan Leonard for advice on plant selections.

This artwork premiered at the Urban Art Space in Columbus, Ohio. Oct 9, 2012 - Nov 17, 2012. The exhibition "Inosculation" and included the following Artists:
Malcolm Cochran
Alan Crockett
Ann Hamilton
Rebecca Harvey
Scot Kaplan
Laura Lisbon
Jessica Mallios
Shane Mecklenburger
Tony Mendoza
Michael Mercil
Ken Rinaldo
Todd Slaughter
Sergio Soave
John Thrasher
Amy Youngs
Ryan Agnew
Bridgette Boyle
Jamie Boyle
Philip Brou
Anthony Castronovo
James Davis
Daniel Jolliffe
Vesna Jovanovic
Ryan Wilson Kelly
Chip Kohrman
Nate Larson
Charles Massey, Jr.
Kathy L. McGhee
Fernando Orellana
Liam O'Brien
Megan Shevenock
Joanna Spitzner
Brent Sommerhauser
21 photos · 1,567 views