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REACTIVATE!! Atomized, virtual gardens.
Regine Debatty, 19 Aug 08

The REACTIVATE!! exhibition at the at the Espai d' Art Contemporani de Castelló, near Valencia (Spain), being an almost endless source of wonders i tried to cover last week (see REACTIVATE!! Part 1, Urban reanimations and the minimal intervention and REACTIVATE!! Part 2, Instant urbanism), i still have a last story in my magic bag to share with you:

Some of the projects presented in Castellon were commissioned by the contemporary art center to engage in a site-specific fashion with the theme of 'remodeled spaces and minimal interventions.'

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The most poetical installation was created by ex.studio, two Barcelona-based Mexican architects Patricia Meneses and Iván Juárez with an impressive portfolio chock-full of projects that investigate and experiment with new ways of relating space with society.

Designed as minimal spaces for auto-reflexion, the Refugios Urbanos are 6 suspended semi-transparent pods that temporarily invade the building of the EACC and its public space.

Looking like chrysalids, the flexible structure can only contain one person. Its very delicate walls allow the inhabitant to enjoy privacy as well as a softly blurred view of the surrounding world.

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Refugios Urbanos proposes new ways to inhabit and imagine space where people are both part and parcel of the city and isolated from it in order to better contemplate it.

A second project worth its weight in blog ink is María Navascues, Ramón Francos and Celia García's Atomish Garden

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It all starts with the Pet Garden! At the opening of the Reactivate!! exhibition, visitors were invited to adopt a piece of garden. Each of them would take home a plant or plot of land to take care of it. Like real pets, owners can take them along for a walk in the street. They also require a lot of care and attention.

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The flower pot comes with a code giving pet owners access to the Petgarden website that gives them all the necessary instruction to pamper their botanical pet. Besides, they can share with other woners the story, health news and adventure of the plant on a blog. Current technologies enable thus the various parts of this 'atomized garden' to form a community able to stay in virtual but close proximity.

All images courtesy of Espai d' Art Contemporani de Castelló.

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