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The Moth Project Satirically Imagines A World Without Pollinators

Robotic plants singing pop songs and quoting bad pick up lines might not be what you expect at an art gallery. But that's what you get when you visit the Moth Project exhibit at the Augustana Teaching Museum of Art. 

Artists Jeff Schmuki and Wendy DesChene created PlantBot Genetics, a fake bio-tech company that satirically imagines a world without bees, moths and other pollinators. In this ficticious future, DesChene says genetically modified plants have evolved to self-pollinate.

Some do this by singing about unrequited love.

But silly songs aside, Schmuki says the goal of the Moth Project exhibit is to start conversations about the serious impact of the decline of pollinators. The US Department of Agriculture reports three-fourths of the world's flowering plants and more than one third of the food supply depend on pollinators.

Moths are considered "second-shift" pollinators, working through the night, picking up the slack from the decline of honeybees.

The artists encourage people to plant wild flowers and other native plants. Another way to help is to avoid spreading pesticides on windy days.

Schmuki and DesChene will speak at the Figge Art Museum Thursday night and bring their mobile exhibit to the Davenport farmers' market on Saturday.

Note: WVIK is a media sponsor of the Moth Project.