A New View, Terreform ONE wins project with the Bloomberg Philanthropies Public Art Challenge

Terreform ONE’s entry uses mealworms to devour polystyrene waste.

The winners are, Amanda Schachter and Alexander Levi, SLO Architecture; Athena Steen and Josh Sarantitis; Tyler FuQua Creations; The Myth Makers, Donna Dodson & Andy Moerlein; Erik James Montgomery; Tom Marchetty, The Factory Workers; DKLA Design and Terreform ONE: Mitchell Joachim, Vivian Kuan, Zack Saunders, Theo Dimitrasopoulos, and Nicholas Gervasi.

Camden Mayor Frank Moran, the City of Camden, Cooper’s Ferry Partnership, and the Rutgers–Camden Center for the Arts on Jan. 31 announced the eight artists who will participate in “A New View,” a winning project selected for the Bloomberg Philanthropies Public Art Challenge that has been awarded $1 million. 

The Bio-Informatic Digester is a machine in the garden that utilizes mealworms to eat styrofoam packaging from e-waste. At the base, the tesseract showcases mealworms devouring community-donated styrofoam and at the top, mycelium erodes over time to reveal the biodiversity graph and future projections of Camden, NJ. Tapping into Camden’s roots as the first county in the state to mandate recycling, this project demonstrates a new method of biologically-driven recycling that can contribute to urban biodiversity. Furthermore, the project visualizes the often-unseen beneficial insect behavior in cities. Manifesting ecological routines into a visible spectacle is a utilitarian mechanism for building awareness and communicating intentions. Instead of burying or hiding urban metabolic infrastructure, reversing its presence is desirable. This machine will show nature as an aestheticized and functional event in its myriad of forms. It will offer the community the capacity to see waste, energy or water systems in flux – highlighting their value and immediacy.