Monday, November 7, 2011

Bio-Art: One Tree(s) Project.

Plants are often overlooked when it comes to crazy artistic projects. Our minds are so entangled with freakish animals when it comes to science projects that weird plants get hardly any notice. Fact is, many 'taboo' procedures done on animals have been done on plants for ages. That includes splicing, super-inbreeding, and, of course, cloning.

Natalie Jeremijenko had a unique idea: Since plants are cloned arbitrarily, she would plant clones of the same tree in various places. The only difference, then, would be the environment they had been planted in. There are over one thousand cloned trees scattered around the Bay City area, and a few saplings in an art gallery as well.

This project brings the question of nature VS nurture to the fore. Now that we can essentially photocopy life, what effect will the environment have on genetically-identical trees? Since trees grow slowly, the results are not quite certain. The project is ongoing, so if you live in New York, do check those trees out. You can even get one for your desktop!

Now, the big question: Is it art? It sounds more like a science experiment gone wild, but there is also a strange beauty to the idea of having the same tree in many places. Post below. :)


  1. Navel oranges are propagated by cuttings. Which makes them, basically, all part of the same 200 year old tree. People have been cloning plants for eons.

  2. That was part of her point, yes. After clicking around, I found some -very- surprising objections to the project, including that cloning undermined the tree's dignity. The flip?

  3. Now, there's a concept it'll take me a while to wrap my brain around. Undermine a tree's dignity? Why don't they put things like that in encyclopedias?