Voice of Nature

Thijs Biersteker

Nomination

Using the real time data coming from a living tree in order to talk about the urgency of climate change, Voice of Nature aims to provoke a new relationship with nature surrounding us.

Using environmental sensors, 1600 real time data points were generated to create a data visualization that shows how the tree was “feeling” about environmental changes happening around it.

Trees are nature’s record keepers, they document their lives through annual growth rings hidden behind their bark. They reveal environmental changes and disease, forest fires, droughts, and pollution levels throughout the tree’s life. The sensors connected to its roots, leaves, and branches, monitor environmental conditions such as CO2 levels, temperature, moisture and light levels, which are fed to an algorithm to generate digital rings every second instead of every year. Using their natural climate monitoring ability to convey the urgency of climate change to us ordinary people?

In collaboration with the Delft University of Technology the artwork combines bio-generated data to create a visual language. Showed on a giant halo behind the tree, the rings confront people with the tree’s health. Giving nature a voice that might be heard by humanity. By touching the tree, the artwork calmed down or its energy levels grew, leaving the spectator with an empowering message that change is at their fingertips.

Credits

Artist: Thijs Biersteker
Production: Woven Studio
Producer: Sophie de Krom
Co-production: Here Your Art (CN)
Partner: TU Delft
Enabler: Xing Guang Hua City Construction (CN), Lumen Art Projects Ltd (UK)
Motion design: Jurriaan Hos
Creative coding: Mickey van Olst
Electronics: Bas van Oerle
Soundscape: End of Time

Thijs Biersteker creates interactive awareness installations about the world’s most pressing environmental and social issues today. He combines scientific research and new technologies to deliver an empowering experience that is accessible both intellectually and technologically. His award-winning immersive art installations, often described as eco- or awareness art, make the impact of the age of the Anthropocene tangible using a fluid mixture of data, kinetic motion, digital visualizations, analog elements, and the virtual and real worlds.