Thijs Biersteker
Awarness artist to create sustaineble digital work on topics of climate change, pollution and nature
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Voice of Nature

VOICE OF NATURE

Using data coming from living trees to give them a voice in times of climate change.


 
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By connecting 12 sensors to a living tree in one of
the most polluted cities in the world; Chengdu, China,

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we turned the 12.000 collected data points, showcasing the pollution levels, photosynthesis and growth patterns, into real time tree rings visualised behind the tree.

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The tree rings, created every second instead of every year, presented the trees well being in real time.

Giving a voice to nature in times of climate change.


Voice of Nature βº1’is on the intersection of environmental awareness art and bio art. Collaborating with the scientists from Delft Technical University we used real time data coming from a tree in order to talk about the urgency of climate change.

Using environmental sensors we generated 1,600 data points to create a data visualisation that showed how the tree was feeling real time about the environmental changes happening around it.

Trees are nature’s record keepers. They document their lives through annual growth rings hidden behind their bark, and for those that know how to read this arboreal script, the rings tell a detailed story. They reveal environmental changes and disease, forest fires and droughts and pollution levels throughout the tree’s life.
If there are any trees left in the future, their rings will show how our species struggled to limit our carbon emissions and poisoned the Earth. But what if there was a way to use the natural climate monitoring ability of trees to convey the urgency of climate change to ordinary people? This is the motivating idea behind Voice of Nature.

The artwork combines bio generated data and creates a visual language that is technologically challenging but intellectually accessible. Voice of Nature was first exhibited in Chengdu, one of the most polluted cities of China. The sensors connected to its roots, leaves, and branches, monitor environmental conditions such as CO2 levels, temperature, moist and light levels, which are fed to an algorithm to generate digital rings every second instead of a year, Showed on a giant halo behind the tree these real time rings confronted people with the tree’s health at that moment, giving nature a voice that might be heard by humanity.

Showing in a poetic way that humanity has a big influence on the changing climate and their actions can influence in both ways. By touching the tree the artwork calms down or has its energy levels grow, leaving the spectator with an empowering message that change is at their fingertips.

Partner
TU Delft

Enabler
Xing Guang Hua City Construction (CN), Lumen Art Projects Ltd (UK)


Production
Woven Studio

Co-production
Here Your Art (CN)

Motion Design
Jurriaan Hos

Creative Coding
Mickey van Olst

Electronics
Bas van Oerle

Soundscape
End of Time

Producer
Sophie de Krom



Research and  collaboration

Research and
collaboration

 
Press  and  Awards

Press
and
Awards

Award
Ars Electronica
Starts Prize 2019 -
Nominee

Article
“And it turns out the trees have a lot to say about climate, pollution, and the world we’re creating for them.”
NDRG - ecowatch

Article
”So he decided to let the trees do the talking.”
– Vice

Article
NTAA award
Nominee

 

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