Founded in 2016, terra0 (2016–present, Berlin) is a group of developers, theorists, and artists exploring the creation of hybrid ecosystems in the technosphere. The group’s first work, the terra0 whitepaper (2016), based on research in areas of distributed ledger technology (DLT), ecology, and economics, proposed technologically augmented ecosystems that can act as semi-autonomous agents.
For the 58th Carnegie International, terra0 proposes an augmented tree that owns its land. The land is donated by the Community College of Allegheny County (CCAC) in Pittsburgh, on which a black gum tree was planted in May 2022. The tree is the single living entity of Pittsburgh Lobby for Tree Personhood, a 501(c)4 social welfare organization, and its de facto owner. The tree will govern itself through a smart contract and issue annual “certificates of care” in the form of non-fungible tokens (NFTs) to Carnegie Museum of Art for the services that the museum provides during its lifetime, such as water, pruning, pest control, liability, and the like. While this work responds to broader environmental concerns, it is particularly relevant in Pennsylvania, which lost a large percentage of its forest to the logging industry in the 19th and 20th centuries.
A tree; a corporation; a person is located at CCAC Allegheny Campus, at 915 Ridge Avenue (40°26’57.8”N 80°00’58.5”W).