Sex Toys for Plants that Promote Reproduction
A design team creates toys that reveal rather familiar, intimate needs of popular plants
The team goes by a name PSX Consultancy, short for Plant Sex Consultancy. They’re not lying as they do offer consultation services to plants and their diverse sexual needs. In the presentation, common domestic potted plants are given a voice with which to complain about their sexual downfalls. Most are about the failure to procreate while one is about avoiding STD.
One client, the famous carnation, is fitted with a sultry vanity lace piece to protect it from “sexually-transmitted diseases”. These STDs are carried by pollinating agents such as insects, from plant to plant. The fungi even when it infects just one flower can render the whole plant sterile. The carnation tells PSX Consultancy of being bred by humans to have more flowers, ultimately making it more susceptible to the fungi. The delicate lace acts as a shield for select flowers while complimenting the beauty of the bloom.
Another client, the cyclamen, is fitted with vibrators. The plant has developed an evolutionary relationship with a bee species. The bee shakes the plants in a specific way to extract viable pollen. However, the relationship came to an end because the bees have become extinct. The device consists of several vibrating heads that connect to a larger control and power module.
For the pitcher plant, a rather phallic structure is placed in the namesake leaf formations. The blockage will have easy to digest nutrients that will sustain the plant while it focuses all its resources to reproduction. A blood retainer and nectar sac will be placed on the flower to catch the attention of pollinators such as mosquitoes and bees.
Other designs and clients include a a helium balloon for the dormant turmeric, a small bulb that inoculates the mosaic virus for a more colorful Abutilon plant and a pedestal for bees for the Canna lily, which evolved to pollinate originally with hummingbirds.
The project displays the flaws of the client and the Western-situated designer relationships. The Western culture only recognizes intelligence in human beings (as opposed with the East). With plant clients and human designers, there is an understandable humor with the sex toys designs. Although they maybe applied as solution to real botanical problems, they primarily put into question the human and designer tendency to appropriate ideas to human and designer conventions. When looking at the solutions, the first thing seen are sex toys with the human connotations despite the nature of the potted and planted clients. Also, the “taboo” quality of the sex toys overshadows the fact that these designs were necessitated by an anthropocentric culture.
The plants and sex toys went on display in the in Bio 50, the University of Ljubljana’s Biennial show.