interactive installation, 2008
live trees, electronics, sound, light, CO2 sensors, breathing
programming Aleksi Pihkanen, Gregoire Rousseau
Scientific consulting: Eija Juurola, Toivo Pohja
In the process of photosynthesis carbon dioxide is converted into sugars and other organic compounds. Nearly all life depends on photosynthesis either directly, or indirectly as the ultimate source of energy in food. But photosynthesis is also essential for maintaining the normal level of oxygen in the atmosphere. As we breath out or release carbon dioxide into the atmosphere, photosynthetic organisms can fix it, releasing oxygen as a by product. The interaction between species is thus physical, as we are practically parts or the same metabolism.
The installation Dialogue enables an audible dialogue between breathing and the plants’ photosynthesis process. When the visitor whistles to the trees they response by whistling back.
The installation consists of a platform, through which live trees grow, and a bench for the visitors. The visitor is invited to whistle or breathe to the CO2 sensor placed in front of the bench. The CO2 breathed out by the visitor activates the light system and small measuring chambers attached to the branches of the trees. The decreasing of CO2 level inside the measuring chambers, caused by photosynthesis, is audible as a whistling sound. Lights, sound, CO2, digital and analogue technology form a circuit of information which enables the viewer to perceive the interaction with non-human environment not only as a physical process but also as flow of information.