Who wants to be an impatient gardener?: Pep Vidal
This project started in September 2016, when Vidal bought the entire stock of a plant store in Barcelona’s Gràcia neighborhood. His goal was to measure the variations and interactions of more than 300 plants, evaluating, among other factors, their surface, volume, color, humidity, and light.
Vidal soon realized that each plant required a distinct watering schedule. He developed his research in collaboration with his colleagues at the optics group in the physics department at the Autonomous University of Barcelona. By using lasers to measure the cells’ composition and the water accumulation in leaves, Vidal and his colleagues are developing a methodology with several potential applications, from the early detection of diseases to sustainable agricultural systems. This research is currently being developed in partnership with other institutions, including the Botanical Institute of Barcelona.
Beyond the possible application of the scientific research related to the project, the interest in finding a precise system of measurement also has implications within the art field. This effort suggests a proximity to the object of study that looks for synchronicity, for a lateral – as opposed to vertical hierarchy, – which implies a recognition of relationships within the environment, between the human and the non-human. Its plastic and performative articulation leads us to consider the possibility of finding other types of social and political connection. Thus, the space for art.