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Planteundersøgelser / Plant investigations - a growing investigation of plants in the city
by Jesper Dyrehauge, Marie Markman and Nis Rømer
Jesper Dyrehauge, Marie Markman and Nis Rømer
Bregnerødgade 11, 4.tv
DK-2200 København N
Tel: +45 22170730

The City seen as an Ecosystem

Cities are growing UN estimates that in 2007 the point will be reached when half of the world's population will be living in cities. The concentration of people, resources, plants and animals within cities makes it relevant to see cities as ecosystems in themselves, even among the most active and concentrated there is.

The website is a growing collection of information on plant life within the city, with focus on a part of inner city Copenhagen called Christianshavn. We made a series of walks with biologists and laymen to investigate and document the plantlife of the area. Read about The White Man's Footprints a plant that followed European colonization and spread to most continents, and about bushes with clouds of etheric oils that can explode when put on fire and in one instance, the story goes, resulted in the burning down of a carport. About the consequences of urban renewal and the limited choices of plants that are used in cities and about all that which spreads by itself. As a part of the investigation soil samples of this part of the city is grown and can be followed online.

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The main site-specific installation was a public intervention, titled A Kitchen Garden at the Harbour Front - a space for interactivity and use, at the Harbour Front of Copenhagen at Christianshavn from May-June 2005. As a part of the investigations into plantlife in the city we made a public kitchen garden by the harbour front in Copenhagen. The garden had rhubarb, strawberries, salads, herbs and many other plants that can be used in the household. It is intended for public use. The whole structure doubled as a bench offering a place to stay and enjoy. With the project we wanted to put forward a type of public art that opens for interactivity and use, but also has a relation to the social and political implications of the site.

(cc) Jesper Dyrehauge, Marie Markman and Nis Rømer

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The garden was placed in one of the most attractive and central spots of the newly designed harbour front, yet the place is mostly deserted. This comes down to two issues; the area is quite effectively cut off from the city through an unfortunate urban plan, and secondly the status of the space is dubious, you are left in doubt whether this is a public space at all. Through the project we wanted to address the use and functionality of public space, how can we make spaces that are engaging and inclusive?

Read more at: www.planteundersogelser.dk/nyttehave.html

The project was made in relation to the exhibition: City Rumble with new relational and interventionist public art.

Thanks to; Cand. scient. Jette Dahl Møller & Ph.D Knud Ib Christensen;
With help from Hanne H. Jensen og Christina Dreyer, students at the Agricultural University of Copenhagen


Artist Biographies

Marie, Jesper and Nis have been working together for two years on a variety of public projects. They deal with issues of access to/and design of public spaces. They have, among other projects, been working with mobile phones and teenagers in Finland, with 'mobile street-furniture' in Århus Denmark. and have made a communal urban green space in collaboration with residents and homeless people in Nørrebro, Copenhagen, to avoid the privatization of the space.

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