Commodity Chain II, 2022
Maarten Vanden Eynde

Sawfish, chainsaw
100 x 30 x 30 cm

‘Biomimicry’ or ‘biomimetics’, the imitation of nature to solve complex human problems, was first described by biophysicist Otto Herbert Schmitt in the 1950s, but as a methodology it goes back at least as far as Leonardo da Vinci’s design for a flying machine based on the wings of bats and birds. By the early twenty-first century biomimetics was being used in the development of a wide variety of products ranging from Velcro to special glues and paints, stealing secrets from water lilies, geckos and spiders. Termite mounds inspired architectural innovations; photosynthesis – the process by which sunlight is converted into fuel by green plants and other organisms – foreshadowed a revolution in energy production. Commodity Chain connects the commodification of animals with the disappearance of biodiversity in a violent clash between nature
and culture.

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