Abstract / Concept / Upcoming events /
Heliotropika is a hybrid installation focusing on the interactions between microorganisms, humans and light energy. The project creates an interface between the visitors and a group of cyanobacteria by integrating the photosynthetic activity of these cells, the dynamics of environmental light and the bioelectrical activity of the participants.
Using cell culture and computer vision, this work renders the photosynthetic activity of cyanobacteria in the form of an organic structure. It also produces dynamic geometries of solar energy by analyzing environmental data. Simultaneously, this work transforms the activity of the nervous system of each participant into "light" to stimulate the cells. As a result, the visitors and cyanobacteria influence each other giving subsistence to a dynamic feedback system. This assembly, thus, questions the possibility of an interkingdom interaction system that could provide insight into the patterns orchestrating the complex coexistence of organic life.
Key words: Interkingdom interaction, coexistence, photosynthesis, cyanobacteria, light energy, cell culture, computer vision.
The interplay between species is a fundamental process to recognize the basis of ecosystems and the way in which different organisms coexist. By emulating symbiotic relationships, interkingdom interaction represents a potential way to understand these patterns of coexistence and imagine the future relationships among species.
Heliotropika is a hybrid installation that departs from these possibilities focusing on the interactions between microorganisms, humans and light energy. The project creates an interface between the visitors and a group of cyanobacteria using the photosynthetic activity of these cells, the dynamics of environmental light and the bioelectrical activity of the participants.
About 2.8 billion years ago the ancestors of cyanobacteria evolved the ability to create photosynthesis. This ability to convert light energy into chemical energy has been the main factor of the oxygen cycle on earth, which is responsible for the present life, as we know it today. In the exhibition, we show samples with cyanobacteria by using a high-resolution microscope. In this location, the behavior of the cells is analyzed with computer vision to obtain information about their location, speed and cell density. This data is processed and displayed as a three-dimensional structure that transforms itself continuously depending on the activity of the cells.
Simultaneously, visitors induce changes in the activity of the cells through their own bioelectrical activity. On his hand the user has sensors that measure the electrical conductance of the skin, which reflect the activity of the nervous system. These reactions are processed and transformed into "light" and sent to the microscope via a micro-projector to stimulate the cyanobacteria. The cells sense the intensity, direction, color and duration of light and use this information to regulate their growth and metabolism.
At the same time, the present light conditions are visualized as dynamic geometry. Light-sensitive sensors register continuously the changes of ambient light. The information is processed in real time leading to the evolution of geometries that react to the on-going variations. As a result, the visitors and the cyanobacteria influence each other giving subsistence to a dynamic feedback system.
This project as a whole presents a hybrid installation developed for exploring interfaces centered on cellular activity. The project shows that biological and new media technologies can be used to dynamically alter and analyze the activity of a population of microorganisms (cyanobacteria) and, thus, point to a path for potential interfacing between humans and living cells. Through practical software applications and visualizations, this work wants to look at the aesthetic relationship to biological processes and the subsequent implications for the developments of new forms of communication. It wants to illustrate that we are in a unique position with respect to the available technologies to evaluate biological process and understand them from a bottom-up approach that revolutionizes the future potential of artistic practice. In this way, this project questions the possibility of an interkingdom interaction system that could provide insights into the patterns orchestrating the complex coexistence of organic life.
September - Review of "Heliotropika" in the art-design magazine Codigo. Mexico D.F, MEXICO. http://www.revistacodigo.com/arte-ciencia/
Sept 22 to Nov 18 - "Heliotropika" is on show at "Update_4". New technological art award. Zebrastra. Gent, BELGIUM. http://www.ntaa.be/en/genomineerden.html
May 06 to June 10 "ADAPTATION". Exhibition at Symbiotica's research project. Mandurah, AUSTRALIA. http://www.symbiotica.uwa.edu.au/research/projects/adaptation/adaptation
May 24 to May 27 - Participation in the poster exhibition of "Subtle Technologies" Art tech festival". Toronto, CANADA http://subtletechnologies.com/events/festival-2012/symposium/poster-exhibition
April 20 "Biodynamic geometries + ScienceArt". Talk - 7th Metaphorest Seminar Waseda University. Tokyo, JAPAN. http://www.f.waseda.jp/hideo-iwasaki/metaphorest_seminar7.html
April 01 - 05 " SCIENCE ART ' 2012 ".Show at the International conference and exhibition. Moscow, RUSSIA. http://wwww.science-art.ru/e.php
Sept 31-10 "Collateral affections”. Finalist. Media art festival transitio MX04. Mexico city, MEXICO
March 9-22 “Hakase katei". Exhibition at Tama Art University - Art Museum. Tokyo, JAPAN
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