Treno Botanico

Gardens have always been the result of traveling, being part of an aesthetic and cultural research. Topotek 1 has been invited by the cultural association »Basilicata 1799« to contribute to their festival »arte in transito« in Potenza, south Italy. The festival aims at fusing and combining city landscape and contemporary art.

As contribution to this urban cultural event, we transformed one of the regular, charming city trains of Potenza by lining up maple and ash sprouts as well as yarrow in the inside instead of one seating row. During a fifteen minutes trip though the city, passengers thus could sit between and next to plants. Spray bottles hanging down from the luggage racks served as refreshers for plants as well as for the passengers. Experiencing this extraordinary place, visitors could come across an artificial, fantastic and exotic nature. Colours and smells took them further than their original travel destination. The installation stimulates and nourishes the imagination of urban spaces. A ride with the botanic train not only serves to exchange passengers and places, but also to exchange urban landscapes inside and outside the train in order to initiate an interchange between real and imaginary open spaces.

The project has been realized in cooperation with students and volunteers of the region within a workshop and thus attains to enhance to communication between mediterranean and northern European garden culture. The implemented plants have been given away to participants and inhabitants after the expiration of the festival in order to bring a piece of garden culture into the city of Potenza.

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