This morning I read this article: Ethical living: can art be environmentally friendly? by Lucy Siegle
with reference in particular to:
One of my favourites from a few years ago was called Wonderland, a fleet of beautiful but ghostly couture dresses created by Helen Storey and chemist Tony Ryan. No, you can't go and see them: Storey dunked them in water and they biodegraded – indeed that was the point. Footprint-free art.
Wonder if this really is footprint free - it might disappear, but was there no energy used in producing it? [I admire the work of Helen Storey]
I am working on a site specific work that will involve writing with flour and water - but the flour had been ground and transported [pesticides, herbicides etc] and the water is treated. I use an icing bag and nozzle that can be used again - but the bag is made from synthetic materials. I cook it in a wood stove oven [not lit especially for my baking - at the venue I shall probably bake over charcoal]. Eventually the birds eat my words - but that doesn't mean it has no footprint just because there is no trace of it in the end.
see here: www.researchforrhod2012.blogspot.co.uk
All art is transient, as all life is. Bio degradeable is a more complicated matter. I often question my use of photography and photographic prints - which I prefer to inkjet prints in the main. Newspaper inks? Even by writing your column you are involved in chemistry and transportation - as I am involved in electricity consumption, and all the materials that make up my computer by reading this online. So even this discussion must be leaving a footprint....