Phytoremediation is a treatment process that is used when a soil or an environment has become polluted. It uses living plants to clean up the infected area – this could be soil, air, water. It is official defined as ‘the use of green plants and the associated microorganisms, along with proper soil amendments and agronomic techniques to either contain, remove or render toxic environmental contaminants harmless’.
Buckminsterfullerene: This is a type of fullerene – a fullerene is an allotrope of a carbon in the form of a hollow sphere. The Buckminsterfullerene resembles the shape of a football.
The most interesting thing about this fullerene is that it is the most commonly naturally occurring fullerene. Small amounts of this fullerene can be found in soot – such as coal, or charred wood as well as deep outer space.
In research experiments, C60 has been used to enhances the phytoremediation process in teak plants. By feeding the plants daily with the C60 fullerene and two types of wastewater, the plants were constantly studied. I’m not a scientist but what I have read in the article below is that the adding of this fullerene increased the recovery time in plants by increasing the time of the removal on nitrogen.
Whether I have really understood the science within this article may not really matter as I have understood the basics of the process that the experiment within the paper has been written. How I see it is that this particular structure and it’s connection to cleaning air, water and highly polluted areas is something that could be used in the arts as a way to connect the audience to climate problems.
We see that the use of this shape in Buckminster Fuller‘s Geodesic domes and building sustainable homes for the future. This structure is extremely strong for it’s weight and is one of the most efficient structures we know. You will also recognise the hollow sphere resembles that of the Eden Project too.
Visually, it is obviously doing something right – maybe it looks eco-friendly? It has quite a satisfying look to it – symmetry and perfection? I am currently writing about problems in art around the aestheticisation of the Anthroposcene so maybe this can come into it some how.
Not to say that I disagree with this visual aspect thought – I really love the Geodesic dome and I love this connection to process of clean polluted areas. I think I need to incorporate this 6 sided shape somehow into my installation to give it some grounding, and context to this really quite fascinating subject area.