Fascinating technology

Art, technology and hemp: all this and more at this castle in the French countryside

By Franca Quarnéti, Via El Planteo.
In the French countryside, a couple of chic Parisians who have become hemp farmers have imagined a project combining art, technology and nature.

The most curious of all? This kind of ecological, cannabis and intellectual amusement park is located in a castle dating from the time of Louis XVI, on a land of 980 acres.

Strictly speaking, 1,530 Le Marais, the project of Victory of Pourtales and Benjamin Eymereaims to be a refuge for artists, with an annual cultural program.

As reported by Christopher Bagley for Rob Report, one of the first artists to intervene in the field was the Thai architect Kulapat Yantrasast, who designed an outdoor stadium in wood and hempcrete (concrete made from hemp). Cultural and community events are held in the stadium, along with occasional fashion shows.

Yantrasast’s next project for the castle is the construction of a small village of two dozen houses for artists. These will be made from hempcrete and will be available for overnight stays to all types of visitors to the creative community.

Hemp, art and technology: a life project

The castle’s inaugural art exhibition, Phytocene, created by a biophysicist and two musicians, involved placing sensors in the hemp crop to track the convoluted way cannabis plants communicate with each other. The result? An amazing work of art that combines video and sound which is projected in the old barn of Marsh Castle. How is it available? As NFT.

In addition, de Pourtalès and Eymère have turned to technology to record climate data that they will share with neighboring farms, with the aim of creating a more lasting connection between farmers and the land.

Instead of selling their hemp harvest directly, Parisians are betting on making products from the plant (in alliance with small, established manufacturers), creating textiles and oils in addition to hemp concrete.

Traceability, meanwhile, will be guaranteed by blockchain technology. According to Eymère, “the blockchain will allow complete traceability, from sowing to the final material”.

But that’s not the only thing the entrepreneurial couple are up to: what’s on the way is an artisanal hemp-based gin. Although her friends question her ambition to embark on many projects, Victoire de Pourtalès admitted: “Yes, I am ambitious. But we are doing it little by little. It really is a life project”.

Photo “CC” Via Wikimedia Commons.