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Fast Plants, the Test Drive

March 5, 2011

As April rapidly approaches, (GRAFT) has collectively begun the development stages for a new collaborative work to incorporate into our thesis exhibition (opening April 29th, 2011 alongside 230 other SAIC MFA graduate students – find us in the zoo!).

About a year ago, we had stumbled across an amazing remarkable breed of Brassica rapa, branded “Wisconsin Fast Plants“, which have been developed by the University of Wisconsin to complete an entire life cycle in a mere 28-35 days. Developed (through cross-breeding, not genetic modification) for pedagogical purposes (mostly target to elementary school biology teachers), these amazingly rapid plants require 24 hours of flourescent light, intense fertilization, hand pollination and constant water. The amount of energy and constant attendance necessary to sustain these organisms seems an apt metaphor for our dense 2 year graduate school experience.

We have begun developing modular structures in which to grow our plants for the length of the exhibition (a timely 28-35 day show) and have started a test round of the plants below. The first two images were taken 3 hours apart on Feb. 28th (only 2 days after planting – a ridiculously fast germination period). The rest were taken consecutively on March 1st, 2nd, 3rd and 4th. More documentation to come…

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