Markus Jeschaunig

Oasis No 8



Bananas from Graz – A tropical waste heat greenhouse

  

Statistically, the banana is the most popular tropical fruit in Austria (it’s always button No. 1 on the scales) and available in supermarkets all year round. Getting to enjoy bananas and other tropical fruit in Europe requires a high level of energy and global logistics. Harvested while still green, the fruit is shipped from exporting countries such as Ecuador, Costa Rica, Colombia, Honduras, Panama and other countries with a subtropical climate to Europe, the journey lasting several weeks, where it is machine-ripened, which is why the banana was long regarded as a luxury article. In his long-term artistic project C2City (Cradle to Cradle City), Markus Jeschaunig examines human process technologies with regard to the biosphere and the environment.

 

Political, economic or scientific, profit-driven and profit-maximising interests, new media, and technological progress have caused the epoch with relatively stable climate conditions, the Holocene, to be followed by the Anthropocene epoch. Human beings have become one of the most important factors influencing Earth’s biological and atmospheric processes. Urbanists, architects and artists, who always occupy themselves with contemporary problems, are devoting increased attention to these issues. Climate, resources and their use, food, ecological and economic developments are becoming essential for our continued survival, our social structures, and political orientations, which is why questions of art, science and research are being increasingly interlinked.

 

Markus Jeschaunig, a trained architect, artist and operator of the Agency in Biosphere, works at and between these points of intersection. This project is an attempt to reveal energy potentials, criticise established systems, and demonstrate new modes of action. In a temporary greenhouse installation sited in the historic centre of Graz, for example, he uses only unused energy, waste heat from a cold store. In addition, he raises exemplary questions about our handling of global resources and the consequences.

 

Making reference to the Haus-Rucker-Co group who realised the project Oase No 7, a transparent plastic bubble with plastic palm trees docked directly on to a classical architectural façade, at the documenta V in Kassel in 1972, Jeschaunig recalls the spirit of optimism of the time that called for people to think in terms of metabolisms and bigger ecological contexts as well as demanding the adaptation and modification of architecture to suit the human body and its needs.

 

Jeschaunig’s Oase No 8 is situated in a vacant lot in that part of the city that was home to the public Joanneumgarten until 135 years ago. As a parasitic architectural intervention, Oase No 8 mimics the form of the bubble and extends it ecologically, with exotic plants (banana, pineapple and papaya) actually thriving in a tropical microclimate. The waste heat from the refrigeration units, roughly 5.2 kW, can keep the interior climate of the EFTE bubble at more than 15° Celsius over the winter, the minimum temperature required by the tropical plants. In-farming, agriculture and urban gardening play as important a role in this work as energy recovery or biological aspects and their impacts. At the end of the project, an energy balance will be drawn up based on the recorded readings.

 

Thus, with the aid of artistic means, the project not only provides impetus but also allows us to experience the factors of time, development, agitation, precarium or distribution, conceiving and proposing new ways of harnessing resources in future, that would be sustainable on a large scale, too.

 

Opening

Thursday, 24.09.205, 6 pm

Radetzkystraße 2 (corner Schmiedgasse/Jakominiplatz)

8010 Graz

 

Welcome and introduction

Dr. Elisabeth Fiedler - Head of the Institute for Art in Public Space Styria

 

Conversation

Markus Jeschaunig - Artist, Dr. Elisabeth Fiedler, Markus Bogensberger - Haus der Architektur

 

In cooperation with Botanischer Garten Graz and HDA.

Supported by Forum Kunstuniversität Linz & Keba AG, Linz.

Thanks to the plant caretakers of "Banana Hood".

 

Info: www.agencyinbiosphere.com 

 

Art in Public Spaces

Marienplatz 1/1
8020 Graz, Österreich
T +43-316/8017-9265
kioer@museum-joanneum.at

 

  

Duration of the installation

September 2015 –  end of 2016

 

Harvesting the fruits

Late summer 2016