Artificial Shrubbery was a public art installation at the Luleå International Sculpture Biennale in northern Sweden, in the outdoor garden area of Nordbatten Museum. The artist’s intent was to create an interactive piece mixing images and objects of what the viewer would define as natural, within obvious forms of human-made objects. A confrontation between material, sight, and sound results in beautiful flowers as square boxes, a wave as a floating triangle, and a woman in a pleasing environment defined by flat surfaces. The objects are placed carefully along a pedestrian path within a “natural” and outdoor environment, further emphasizing relationships between the image of nature and nature itself.
Under the direction of the artist, photographic negatives were scanned and digitally manipulated to conform to the shapes of the boxes. Because the installation was outdoors and accessible to the public, laminated E-Stat was mounted to translucent Lexan®. As the day darkened toward midnight near the Arctic Circle, the internally-lit shrubs take on an ethereal glow.
As visitors walk by the shrubs, a motion detector trips an audio track, individual to each bush. These sounds again confront the viewer’s notion of “nature” as a background of birds, wind, or waves carefully and subtly intertwine with the more human noises of emotion, sex, or violence.