Monday, March 19, 2007

It's As Easy As Cut and Paste

This is the slogan that my teenager is planning to put on environmentally-friendly t-shirts with the other side reading "Plant More Trees." Unfortunately, a cut-and-paste attitude doesn't always work with the natural environment, even though EPA bureaus associated with conservative presidential administrations have tried to suggest that building artificial wetlands can compensate for development over natural ones. Of course, Lev Manovich has argued that cut-and-paste functionalism is one of the key features of the language of new media.

Actually, there are a number of online environments that encourage the planting of virtual trees and flowers. Unlike the popular casual game GrowCube, these exercises in plug and play environmentalism generally don't have "win" and "lose" non-negotiable outcomes. Next month's issue of Dwell magazine vaunts the ability of users to plant virtual flowers in the Orange Country Great Park, which is being designed by Ten Acquitectos. You can also virtually plant a tree in Niger through tree-nation.

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