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Rearming the Spineless Opuntia

2340_jones_beap.jpgAmy Youngs offers a critique of the way we treat our natural resources with her piece Rearming the Spineless Opuntia found on page 39 in Art and Electronic Media [2]. In this piece, while critiquing the careless genetic alteration of the naturally occuring environment, she attempts to create a solution for it as well. She says that “because humans find it to be an economically valuable plant, we will cultivate it and protect it, however, [she] began to imagine what might happen if humans abandoned the Spineless Opuntia and it were left to fend for itself” [1]. Her solution, in this case, is to develop a surrogate protective body for this plant that, if left alone, could not defend itself anymore. The surrogate body consists of “an armor that will close when people approach and open up again when people move away from it” [1]. Combining motion sensors and robotic mechanisms, Youngs provides a defense against “would-be predators,” utilizing the ideas and technologies behind works like Senster and SAM in a defensive way rather than a directly interactive way [2].




[2] Edward A. Shanken, Art and Electronic Media, 2009.