Biotope-to-go


2011
Installation with car, plants, sand, two lizards, one skunk, one parking meter
320 x 140 x 140 cm


Gråbrødre Torv, Copenhagen


Commissioned by MAD Foodcamp Festival 2011

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Click image to enlarge.

Biotope-to-go

The existence of cars shapes the landscape. Cities, networks, and entire infrastructures are created based on cars. Animals and plants that must compete for living space with people and profits will be on the losing side. In a dense cityscape like central Copenhagen, there are ways to accommodate cars, and renting a parking space for one’s car is an efficient way to turn public space into private.
By turning a car into a shelter for wildlife, a small patch of urban space can be taken back by nature as long as the parking fee is paid. In "Biotope-to-go" the highly desired and picturesque urban environment of Copenhagen's Gråbrødretorv was occupied by flora and fauna with the friendly help of the city of Copenhagen, who allowed the artist to establish a temporary parking spot there for one week. In the spot stood a car loaded full of and surrounded by earth, sand, grasses, flowers and other plants, insects, a skunk, and two lizards. They could use the car as they pleased, as their personal space for resting, feeding, digging, and exploring within the framework of the car body.
A note next to the car encouraged passers-by to help protect nature by feeding the parking meter with coins to allow this small biotope to bloom and continue existing in the busiest spot in Copenhagen.