Work title: The Center for Experimental Scentology (0000901778)
The Center for Experimental Scentology:
A Machine for Ecological Mutations
This project is to be understood as an ecosystem: a complex assemblage of materials, networks and ecologies that compete and influence each other.
Fogo, Cape Verde is an isolated volcanic island. A history of agriculture has dumbed its ecology, lead to a decreasing diversity of flora.
The Center for Experimental Scentology is a proposal to the scent industry for a machine that misbehaves, creating unanticipated and accidental olfactory sensations.
A grid of calibrated bio-bags - each tuned to precise conditions - contain exotic plants from a spectrum of biomes. A simple algorithm (derived from the “Knights Tour” chess problem) distributes these bio-bags to maximize the differences in adjacencies, like a Chinese contortionist.
Between the calibrated bio-bags are tangles of drip irrigated tubes coated with biodegradable sheaths. These act like spidernets to catch errant pollen that filters between the bags. Some fortuitously mix to create new unexpected mutant breeds and scents.
Thus, it is a machine that uses precision to create imprecision.
South African Rediva Bees, possessing the largest scent-yield ratio of bees, are agents in this matrix. The scents they harvest are milked to create intensely pure and blemished perfumes.
They operate on two protocols:
_as free agents, they are vectors of uncertainty. It is through them that pollen is mixed in curious ways, breeding mutant hybrids between plants in the spidernet.
_through pavlovian training , the bees will focus on a selected scent, they become amplifiers of selected ecologies and work within the confine of a biobag.
The humans are overseeers, but never able to participate. To prevent contamination of the scents, they have to wear containtment suits when they enter the bio-bag machine.They are aliens to their own environment of creation.
When they walk between the sandwich of bags, the different biomes heave to different heights through the day, depending on “fullness”. This is in itself another machine: one that choreographs an artificial writhing topography.
A net wraps together these bio-bags. Its porosity allows ventilation and moisture to enter, but also allows errant bio-matter to leak to the landscape. This upsets and destabalizes the retarded ecology into a contamination: crossing the synthetic ecology boundary to become a galapogos v2.0.