Voice of Nature βº1

Voice of Nature visualises the state of being of a tree by using real time data in order to talk about the urgency of climate change in a way that’s undeniable.

The digital art installation Voice of Nature uses real time data that indicates the wellbeing of a tree to warn us about climate change.

“Trees and their tree rings are data capsules showing the change in climate happening over the years. Environmental changes and the impact of pollution is indicated by the yearly growth levels shown in the rings. With these accelerating shifts taking place we don’t have time to wait years for this data” says Biersteker. “It’s time to speed up the process to a human pace and show with data what nature is trying to tell us.”

Using real time data coming from sensors attached to a tree, the algorithm can generate a tree ring every second. Indicating the tree’s well being and the impact of the environmental changes as they are happening at that moment.

Data with a human touch
Visualised on a giant aura like screen behind the tree you see the tree rings appear in an almost meditative way. The sensors measure amongst others the par light spectrum, moist levels, soil- temperature-moist rain levels, air quality and co2 levels. With this data we generate a ring that indicates the growth levels of the tree, second by second. For example an increase of polluted air or decrease of light coming in is directly visible on the giant screen.

With the tree responding to human touch, Voice of Nature shows in a poetic way that humanity has a big influence on the changing climate. By touching the tree the artwork calms down or has its energy levels grow, leaving the spectator with an empowering message instead of the depressing idea of being powerless.

“During the build up of the installation it had not been raining for a while so we asked if someone could water the tree, but everyone was busy. Once we connected our moist level sensor to the tree and showed the data indicating the tree was thirsty, there was someone with a waterhose within 15 minutes. I think that was a good demonstration of how we trust data more than our eyes these days” – Thijs Biersteker

The data is still in Beta
Voice of Nature is the kick-off of a collaboration with the Technical University Delft and its Plantenna research group. Goal is to finding ways to gain more data and amplify the voice of nature in an artistic way. “We are happy to being part of the research programmes and don’t mistake our work with the scientific research on plants taking place right now. We used as much real time data and sensors as possible in this artwork. Its purpose is to create awareness for the natural world around us, and the signals its trying to give us in the face of climate change.” – Thijs Biersteker


Artist

Thijs Biersteker

Production

Woven Studio

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

Producer

Sophie de Krom

First appearance

Last November Voice of Nature premiered during the art festival Light Up Bashu in Chengdu China.