What do you get when you cross a jellyfish with an oak tree?
No, it is not some sort of children’s riddle. This was a real question posed by Dutch designer/artist/architect Daan Roosegaarde. He wondered at how jellyfish and fireflies got their glow, how he could harness it, and how he could use it to alter nature and the world.
And now, after teaming up with some top American scientists, he has merged the DNA of glowing marine creatures with foliage, creating a few of the first plants to glow independently. When the lights are dimmed, these tiny sprouts glow green, illuminating the small glass boxes in which they are housed. The results are nothing short of astounding, both artistically and scientifically.
These creations have amazed many, inspiring similar projects and experiments. In fact, you can get involved with these innovative luminous plants by contributing to various Kickstarter campaigns aimed at raising funds for research and growing of various types of radiant greenery. One group recently raised nearly a half million dollars on Kickstarter to develop glowing roses – a perfect addition for a romantic evening or marriage proposal of the future.
And, although he has already received fame and accolades from his glowing plant samples, Roosegaarde is far from done with his master plan. He hopes to grow full glowing trees to perhaps illuminate sidewalks in cities or to create ambiance in both indoor and outdoor locations. Of course, it will take years to grow these full-sized trees, but Roosegaarde has high hopes the work will be worth it all. In the future, he says, we will be merging technology and the environment, taking us away from our screens and into a “new nature”.
As artists continue to push boundaries with not only art but with science as well, we will see how the merging of these two disciplines will change how we view and live in the world. Perhaps we will one day live in this “new nature”, brought to us by the combining of an artist’s vision and a scientist’s dream.
Fine Art Studio of Rotblatt & Amrany encourages artists and scientists alike to visit our studio and see our latest exhibits. Comment on our Facebook page and tell us what you think of this “glowing tree” idea.