We’ve seen several solar-powered lawn mowers lately, and they’re generally high-tech, super space-cadety looking things. That’s part of why the Primate’s Progress mower tickles our bits. It’s a cute little solar-powered mower buggy created by artists Marguerite Karhl and Paul Ruff. But besides the bright colors and rounded corners, what’s exciting about this puttery thing is that it’s made from recycled parts.
Primate’s Progress premiered a few years ago as part of the exhibition “Garden Improvement” at Wavehill public gardens and cultural center. The exhibition explored the relationship between humans and the cultivated environment. This button-red mower-buggy is controlled by remote (from the front porch, if you like) and charges over a series of days. Kahrl and Ruff drew on their previous experience as machinists and electricians to build it and send it gloriously puttering around the Bronx. Again: cute. Now if we could just get one that plants native seeds along the way . . .