Declimatize, 2018
Long-term botanical installation, 5m x 5m
In collaboration with Sascha Pohflepp 

Throughout the colonial history of plants, thousands of species were transposed from tropical to more temperate climates, often with the goal of making them viable within the agricultural industries of northern Europe. Islands like the Azores with their mild temperatures and high precipitation rate played a crucial role as open-air laboratories. In private “acclimatization gardens” imperial botanists were attempting to slowly coax those organisms into thriving in different environments, experiments which mostly failed.

Now, under the effects of anthropogenic climate change, it could be claimed that islands themselves are thrown into motion, an uncertain trajectory at the end of which local weather patterns may resemble a different geographical location altogether. In response, we propose a “declimatization garden” that combines the research and knowledge of climatologists, conservationists, gardeners and historians and takes as a departure point the best available simulation model for São Miguel Island 1

Set in the publicly accessible Parque Urbano de Ponta Delgada, Declimatize was created as a long-term installation that provides an open interface to twenty-five square meters are inhabited by a number of endemic and native species likely to thrive in the local conditions described by the simulation (ones that would do well in dryer and hotter conditions). As the year 2100 approaches, the installation is bound to gradually become ecological reality while at the same time turning into a ruin of the simulation’s inevitable mispredictions, visitable like São Miguel’s eighteenth-century botanical gardens today.

Arbutus unedo
Delonix regia
Dracaena draco
Erica arborea
Festuca Petraea
Hypericum foliosum
Laurus Azorica
Leontodon rigens
Luzula purpureo
Morella faya

Created for Walk & Talk 2018, curated by Dani Admiss, special thanks to: Isabel Albergaria, Gonçalo Branco, Luís Brum, Diogo Jácome Correia, Filipe Figueiredo & SPEA and Pedro Manuel Alberto de Miranda.

Parque Urbano de Ponta Delgada, São Miguel

Tomé, R.F.D., Mudanças Climáticas Nas Regiões Insulares, 2013. Assuming a RCP8.5 scenario, employing the EC-Earth model and others.

Declimatize in July 2019