zybach untitled tree 016
Untitled (Tree)
Compressors, plastic tubes,
metal pipes, valves, balloons, posters
Dimension variabel (2009)
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The electronically controlled sculptures are made of compressors, plastic tubes, valves, coloured metal pipes, and balloons. Combined formally into a number of tree-like objects they form systems that extract air from the space, compressing and storing it and, at intervals, releasing it again into the balloons – the most flexible parts of an otherwise static construction. The balloons 'grow' like leaves or fruit on a tree, until eventually one by one they burst. The experiment with the otherwise invisible material of air maintains its own equilibrium and produces no permanent changes.
Free posters laid out for visitors to take away are printed with fragments of various offers and initiatives related to tree planting. All of these have the shared aim of planting larger or smaller numbers of trees in various places to counteract carbon-dioxide emissions of a range of production forms.
The question arises as to why the tree has been selected from among other biomass components. Not only is a tree's capacity for storing carbon dioxide lost after a brief period due to the natural process of decomposition (unless this is slowed down as the tree becomes oil over several millions of years). There is also the fact that single-celled organisms in the oceans are by far the greatest contributor in the production of the planet's oxygen. No doubt, taken out of context, the tree's visual appeal also plays a role. Its cultural significance and history as a resource for building material and energy is thus perpetuated – as a repository for unwanted, invisible matter.