Peter Ojstersek

Born 1961 in Gothen­burg, Sweden. Lives and works in Berlin, Germany and Gothen­burg, Sweden.

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Chinampa

49 m2 - Octagonal floating raft with an illuminated geodesic green house

In recent years my work has focused on cultivation.

The installation I exhibit is inspired by the chinampas, the artificial islands that the Aztecs built along the beaches, in shallow lakes, for agricultural purposes. Located on Lake Texcoco, the same place where today’s Mexico City is, the chinampas produced two thirds of the crops consumed by the 230.000 inhabitants of Tenochtitlan, the capital of the Aztec Empire.

Chinampa consists of a greenhouse in the form of a geodesic dome, mounted on a raft and anchored in Svartån, the river flowing through Örebro. The dome is a sculptural work that is illuminated at night. Inside the dome, traditional Aztec crops like corn, beans and squash are grown, which are co-cultured by a method called “Three Sisters”. Amaranth, tomatoes, chili peppers, dahlias and potatoes are also cultivated inside the dome. Watering the plants is automated and electricity supply comes from solar panels and batteries.

The viewer can see Chinampa floating on the river. A video documentation of the growth of the crops can be watched on www.peter-ojstersek.com/chinampa. A surveillance camera inside the dome sends an image to the website every hour. Chinampa addresses issues related to art, culture, history, culture, technology and monitoring.

Artist Statement

My work as a painter has been fundamental as a primary reference for the ongoing explorations of other media such as sculpture, monumental engraving, and photography. From my knowledge of oil, tempera, watercolor and ink, I have experimented with combinations of pigments, soaps, and industrial adhesives such as epoxies, polyurethane and silicones.

In recent years I’ve had a fascination for the natural world; compost, dahlias, tomatoes, fungi connected to daily life has led to the investigation of biological processes and growing cultures, such as substrate, greenhouse and geodesic domes, as well as the related architecture and technology.

My ambition is to further develop the overlapping investigation of artistic methods coupled with the impact on the health and environment of the plant culture, as one living unit of knowledge and experience.

www.peter-ojstersek.com