Bonsai Trees In Space

The New Yorker's archives freely unfold, space plant photography, the science behind tattoos and more in our weekly look at the web

Tokyo-based artist Azuma Makoto isn’t interested in discovering the possibility of life on other planets—he’s interested in sending life from Earth beyond it. Strapping a bonsai tree, orchids, lilies and other plants to a balloon, the artist juxtaposes the symbols of life against the backdrop of the stratosphere. While the work “Exobiotanica” claims to transform these plants into extraterrestrial life, it also reminds us of how unique the Earth’s environment is.