While the DEA and the IRS raided herbal pharmacies in my hometown of Oakland this week, a continent away in Madrid, Spanish street art collective, Luzinterruptus, set up an herbal pharmacy of their own. Mutant Weeds is their latest installation to cast light on Madrid’s troubles.
From the artists:
Of all the environmental pollution that can be found in the city of Madrid, the most evident is light pollution, so much so that in our sky we can never see the Milky Way and hardly any stars. This overillumination is evident to the naked eye at a distance of more than 200 kms and produces a glow that can be seen with a medium-size telescope for more than 700 kms…In addition to the obvious color change of the streets, the neighbors who live in the vicinity of 24 hour pharmacies, have watched impotently as every night their rooms become disturbing green places, in which life and the perception of what happens in them is altered, without being able to do anything to avoid it.
I’m hard-pressed to argue against green lighting, but when it’s involuntary and for advertising purposes, that ain’t cool.
Mutant Weeds anticipates a future where “photosensitive plants grow in the asphalt around the pharmacies, nourished by the photosynthesis of its powerful ‘low’ light”. Luzinterruptus used fluorescent light sticks to approximate blades of grass in the pavement of three downtown locations. After the intervention, they removed the display “so as not to pollute”. Perfect.
Click through for a few behind-the-scenes shots.