The Life 7.0 site describes the project thusly: Spore 1.1 makes visible, in an ironic manner, the artificiality of our immediate reality by relating the business market to the ecosystem. The artist purchased a plant at the Home Depot superstore and inserted it in a mechanized installation that is connected to the Internet via a wireless connection and programmed with open source software. The installation periodically checks the value of Home Depot’s stock over the internet, activating a watering system: if share values are up the plant gets watered. The underlined paradox is that Home Depot guarantees the well being of the plant for one year and, if the plant dies due to either falling or rising share values it has to be replaced by the multinational, —a contract relating life and death.
It’s a huge win for Doug, a visionary artist and cultural critic whose time has come. Even Bruce Sterling is talking about it. Cheers to you my man!