A couple of Finnish artists embarked on a project to create a poetic public art installation called Bird Hangar that uses the wind to spread seeds across Japan. Unveiled at a past edition of the Yokohama Triennial, Casagrande & Rintala‘s sculptural cone was built with a steel frame and wrapped in a biodegradable, fast-growing hemp rope. The idea at the heart of the project consists of releasing meteorological balloons with attached balsa wood birds that contain five seeds of basic Japanese vegetables, ready to be distributed across the country.
The Bird Hangar installation acted as a “nest” for bird-shaped planes to prepare to fly away and distribute the seeds. Once the balloon explodes, the lightweight planes will glide, dropping the seeds (and the artists’ contact details) somewhere inland where they can sprout.
We like this poetic idea of spreading seeds with the wind, and even though the meteorological balloons are made from latex — which could biodegrade at the same rate as a leaf from an oak tree — they can still be a hazard to animals and marine life if ingested.
Photo © Casagrande & Rintala