Genetic signs of domestication of plants and animals date as far back as the oldest known evidence for other artistic expressions like painting, music and sculpture. Breeding is often seen as a science or a craft and is rarely considered art. The Bifrost art project aims to combine the spectacular bark and growth rate of the rainbow gum Eucalyptus deglupta with the cold hardiness of the cider gum Eucalyptus gunnii and possibly other cold-hardy species. The cold hardiness introgression should make it possible to grow amazing rainbow-colored trees in a European or North American climate. The project has been initiated and is expected to continue for decades or centuries in a distributed, participatory, manner. The project explores breeding as an art form, and through extension landscape and ecosystem manipulations that may last beyond the time when human kind has driven itself to its extinction. The project also questions commonly held beliefs about “pristine” and “natural” as being better than “artificial” and “anthropogenic”.
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