When it comes to our increasingly crowded city streets, where trucks and cars and bikes clamor and jockey for a spot, it seems there's hardly room anymore for a little green to soak up all that CO2. But, thanks to two artists in Indonesia, finding space for flora just got a bit easier with these literally living bike helmets that are sure to turn a few heads -- turn them into potted plants, that is.Sure, you may be thinking that these sprouting helmets are not terribly practical, likely to cause more injuries than they could ever help protect from, but to artists Sara Nuytemans and Arya Pandjalu, safety isn't quite the point. Their arboreal caps aren't a real alternative to the classic design, instead they're intended to be a tribute to the abundant plant life in the Indonesian city where they live -- a Treebute to Yogya, to be exact.
The artistic duo made a short-film showcasing their creations as they zip around town atop the heads of several riders, which makes tree-hugging seem a bit, well, a bit stationary. Sara and Arya explain the inspiration behind their project:
Treebute to Yogya is a public performance and is meant as a homage to the very green city Yogyakarta. Not only with a lot of trees in the streets and gardens but also with the surrounding of the rice fields. Now a day the city is still quite green but modernization goes fast and changes the city environment. TREEBUTE to YOGA is also a wink to the idea for direct CO2 compensation while driving the motorbike and keeping Yogya green. The tree on the helmet is a Banyan (Beringin) tree which gives lots of shadow and protection and is seen as a divine tree.
The oddly green helmets aren't just attracting the attention of bemused passers-by; in fact, the project was recently awarded the 2010 Szpilman Award for "works that exist only for a moment or a short period of time." And, while that may be true, for anyone who catches a glimpse of them, the potted-plant helmets are sure to live on a while longer in memory.
After all, it's not every day you run across a sight that's just so spectacularly trippy -- unless, of course, you're a pot head, too.
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