As one of my final year projects at Central Saint Martins I collaborated with fellow artist Jasmin Newman on a project entitled ‘Experiments In Aquaponics’. Aquaponics is a sustainable system of growing edible fish and plants in a symbiotic cycle. Fish waste acts as a natural fertiliser, the plants absorb these nutrients, and the water remains clean for the fish.
‘Experiments in Aquaponics’ aimed to explore the intersection between socially potent artistic practices and the future of food production by facilitating events, actions and performances.
Tying in perfectly with our project ethos of home production, 3D printing played a large part in the setting up of our various aquaponics systems. Locating some of the components and adapting existing plumbing parts was not always possible and many essential parts were created using the Ultimaker (and customised to a fish and plant theme!). Below are some images of an early test build of a small aquaponics systems with a 3D printed syphon funnel, and various gravel guard caps.
One of our events that we held once our larger aquaponics system had been developed was “AQUANAILS”. Using the opportunity for a free nail treatment as bait, participants could enjoy being pampered in front of our aquaponics system whilst simultaneously learning all about aquaponics as a method of alternative food production and gaining the knowledge to set-up their own systems at home.
We 3D printed custom fish and plant pots for the various nail equipment and also included a free 3D printed keyring in the info packs that were given to all our participants.
“AQUANAILS” was just the beginning of a series of events where audiences could learn about the benefits of home production whether via building aquaponics systems or realising the potential of 3D printing to adapt, fix and customise things around the home.
Other activities and events that we hosted included: a pedal generator armchair device that provided energy to run our aquaponics system, a performance event which reimagined the surrounding urban landscape with aquaponics systems integrated into the architecture, and a reading room curated with books and materials providing information on sustainable home production.
Every event provided the opportunity for participants to take home their free aquaponics guide and sample some of our home grown produce which included pak choi, green beans, peas, spinach, edible flowers, rocket, and a range of different lettuces.
For more info on the project please visit: http://experimentsinaquaponics.org/
And for more info on other artwork please go to: http://www.alicewoods.co.uk/