Mustafa Khanbhai / New Delhi, India — Jan 8, 2019
The strangler fig is a model for the city that survives the Anthropocene. To survive the age of fire and extinction, cities must also outgrow constricted human forms: the pyramid, the ladder, the structures that immobilize power. The strangler fig is both parasite and keystone species; organism and habitat; forest and city. It has evolved to subvert the scarcity of space on the rainforest floor by growing on other trees, and uses this happy accident to claw its way through concrete walls, thriving on and despite the buildings of our cities. It circulates resources and roles between root, branch and trunks, easily coming away from itself and melding with other trees, other bodies and ecosystems. This mutation that helps it strangle host trees is a sign of how cities must grow out of their pyramids and towers, crushing ganglions of capital and circulating their power.
For this project, I would like to write Blender Python code that generates animated 3D models of anarchist strangler figs. The trees would grow in simulated structures and spaces that hoard power and have become sinkholes for capital. These could be represented as 3D models, images auto-picked from the internet, or maps generated by data on trends in property values, crime rates, land use, demographics etc. The code itself can reflect value systems: an algebraic approach, interface-based code, a logic-oriented code, a network of interacting scripts, or even a simulation of phantom users.
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