STILL– LIFE is an interactive video installation that examines the networked relationships between humans, plants, and technology. Through a physical garden, visitors are encouraged to mediate using touch in order to explore the affects of transmission between the organic and the digital.
Our mystical relationship with the natural world has attempted every possible way to capture its sublime beauty. It is through representation that we as humans can preserve and capture our reality, and by virtualizing it we give it a new presence.
It is undoubtful that the digital era has transformed our relationship with nature, now mediated by technology. STILL, LIFE explores this paradoxical relationship, presenting speculative approaches to connection and coexistence.
︎︎︎ MFA Computer Arts _ Thesis Project
Thesis instructors: Federico Muelas and Anney Bonney
Thesis advisor: Javier Cruz
Music by Tomas Garcia
Voice over by Cristina Sanchez Salamanca
1. PHYSICAL COMPUTING
In the first stage, we sensed the plants through physical computing, experimenting with multiple sensors and prototyping boards such as the Arduino and the Bare Conductive Board. We read the conductivity of multiple plants and processed the data from the Arduino software into Touchdesigner.
In the second stage the plants’ virtual replicas were created through the process of photogrammetry: a technique that uses photography to obtain measurements of physical objects to create a 3D model. The accuracy of the 3D scan has a relation to the number of photographs taken and the drawn path around the object, in this case, the plant. Inner systems become visible and help us build a resemblance of the original plant from richer and unknown perspectives.
The point-cloud data from the virtual plants was used to visualize them in Touchdesigner, translating the plants' energy into a visual cartography. The upcoming data from the physical plants was processed to trigger animations in the virtual replicas. This interaction works in real-time and was tested with multiple plants simultaneously.