Installation view, Hard/drive... www.iamharddrive.com Lounging island comprising XL bean pillow, plants (Cycas revoluta and Sansevieria trifasciata)*, and iPad showing Hard/drive's website. Sansevieria - known as 'Zeylanica' Snake Plant (left) and 'Laurentii' Mother-in-Law’s Tongue (right) - are highly rated by NASA Clean Air Study as air-purifiers - removing up to 107 known pollutants. Sansevieria - unlike most plants - release oxygen at night, they have tall, rigid, dark green leaves with snakeskin patterns, and Mother-in-Law’s Tongue has an additional yellow stripe running the length of the leaf margins.
The two additional plants in this installation are Cycas revoluta, known also as the Japanese sago palm - although not a palm, but a cycad, since the male produce a cone - the female produce asexual spores. Revoluta means "curled back", which is in reference to its leaves - most notable when the plants reach the reproductive stage (as with the cycad on the right, where its leaves have strongly recurved edges). Cycas revoluta are one of the most prehistoric living seed plants on the planet.
*Plants cultivated at A V A L A N C H E - an artist-run lounge and botanical garden in Peckham - growing, planting and propagating since 2015 ♡
N.B. NASA's research into plants developed following their need for an efficient, long lasting source of clean air to keep astronauts alive and well during extended manned space missions. They discovered that some common houseplants were very effective at improving air quality and removing toxins from their environment, and fresh, purified, oxygenated air is needed for human and animal life, evolving together.
In 2018, Damian Carrington, Environment editor at The Guardian, reported, 'Air pollution in London has reached the legal limit for the whole of 2018 less than a month into the year.' And, according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the air inside the average home is up to five times more polluted than the air outside, so unless all furniture, paint, carpeting and flooring are organic, eco-friendly and pure, it's most likely there is moderate to substantial off-gassing (caused when synthetic materials or chemicals naturally degrade - releasing harmful particles into the air). MinEx, on Pentonville Road, London - where Hard/drive was exhibited in 2018 - had a level of pollution seven times the maximum EU limit. Yet, in the home or office, just six air purifying plants are required per person to meet their daily needs for fresh, clean, highly oxygenated air*.