Espace pour la vie, in collaboration with the National Film Board of Canada, is proud to present Regeneration, a contemporary digital art piece that tells the story of a phytoremediation research area at the Jardin botanique. The product of an art-meets-science collaboration, this work documents in real time the regeneration through plants of a plot of land.
The light and sound installation uses cameras and sensors to record the plant and environmental activity of an area of land, to show how, over the years, living organisms can act to restore the ecological integrity of an ecosystem. Both artistic and experimental, the work documents the renewed vitality of the land while demonstrating the decontamination potential of plants. Regeneration is a sensitive, stimulating and engaging experience that lets visitors witness the passage of time in plant terms.
At the crossroads of art and science
The piece was created through a close collaboration among artists Alexandre Burton and Mélanie Crespin, Jardin botanique researcher Joan Laur and the Jardin botanique’s museology team. The artistic installation includes a mobile made from bioplastic products derived from material collected at the plot. The lighting is modulated based on the digital data, showing a time-lapse view of the very slow evolutionary process.
The power of plants
The project is one in a series of phytotechnology stations that reveal the power of plants to solve a range of environmental problems. Regeneration showcases phytoremediation as a technique to decontaminate soil using plants. As the soil is re-oxygenated, life is restored – hence the title of the work.
“Phytotechnologies represent innovative solutions to conventional engineering approaches,” explained Jardin botanique director Anne Charpentier. “For several years, the scientists at the Jardin botanique and the Institut de recherche en biologie végétale (IRBV), along with specialists in landscaping, in horticulture and in museology at the Jardin botanique, have been working together on building a series of phytotechnology stations that integrate educational elements intended to explain the functioning and the role of plants there. With the phytotechnology stations, Espace pour la vie is demonstrating the full potential of plants for the ecological transition, one of the principal goals of the Montréal 2030 strategic plan.”
“Regeneration shows to what extent the encounter between art and science offers vast possibilities for creation and knowledge. At the NFB’s Interactive Studio, we support openness to new fields of experimentation and greater integration of practices for creators, resulting in works that explore innovative forms of storytelling. I also want to underscore the continuing collaboration with Espace pour la vie, which makes interactive and digital works even more accessible, as well as the collaboration with the Jardin botanique, which highlights environmental concerns that are crucial for the future.” – Louis-Richard Tremblay, Executive Producer, NFB French Program Interactive Studio- 30 -
Espace pour la vie
Espace pour la vie is made up of five major attractions: the Biodôme, the Biosphère, the Insectarium, the Jardin botanique and the Planétarium. These prestigious municipal institutions form Canada’s largest natural science museum complex. Together, they are launching a daring, creative urban movement, encouraging all of us to rethink the connection between humankind and nature and cultivate a new way of living.
National Film Board of Canada (NFB)
The NFB is Canada’s public producer and distributor of award-winning documentaries, auteur animation, interactive stories and participatory experiences, working with talented creators across the country. The NFB is taking action to combat systemic racism and become a more open and diverse organization, while working to strengthen Indigenous-led production and gender equity in film and digital media. NFB productions have won more than 7,000 awards, including 12 Oscars. To access this unique content, visit NFB.ca.
Montréal Space for Life Foundation
The Montréal Space for Life Foundation contributes philanthropically to the development of Espace pour la vie by supporting the scientific, educational, cultural, social and artistic missions of its five institutions: the Biodôme, the Biosphère, the Insectarium, the Jardin botanique and the Planétarium. Its values are based on respect for biodiversity and appreciation of the sciences and the arts as a way of bringing people closer to nature.