This ominous patch of earth may look like a series of hazardous orange cones, but fear not — this bomb went off long ago. It’s a slowly exploding artwork called Monsoon Arsenal, created out of soil and native plant seeds for the Center for Contemporary Arts in Santa Fe, New Mexico. Over time this scary-looking formation dissolved into native brush. Read on to discover more about this benignly dangerous artwork.

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sustainable design, green design, art garden, monsoon arsenal, Center for Contemporary Arts, santa fe, Jacques Abelman, Aysha Massell, Nik Bertulis

Surrounded by a series of bioswales, the installation included four winged saltbush, lemonadeberry and soaproot seeds. It was the brainchild of collaborators Nik Bertulis, Jacques Abelman and Aysha Massell, who worked together to create the mounds of compost, clay pigments, and future plants. While the explosion might have been messy, we still prefer it to the kind that usually bears the hazmat symbol.