Sally Bozzuto is a founder and member of Biome Arts.
Biome Arts is a collective of artists, designers, engineers, biologists, and activists producing work that anticipates the next global paradigm: ecologically sustainable, open source, commons-based culture. We create large scale, eco-digital installations that enable other artists and the public to reimagine their relationship with nature and technology.
Biome Arts’ Eco_Hack 2016 was a large-scale art installation and event series serving as a communal incubator for radical practices of art and activism based on open-source technologies, environmental awareness, and semi-autonomous commons held during summer and fall of 2016.
Eco_Hack 2016 was a collaboration with Mary Mattingly’s Swale, a floating forest of edible and medicinal plants that asks the question, what if healthy, fresh food could be a free public service and not just an expensive commodity? A multi-faceted project, Eco_Hack 2016 consisted of three main components: an art installation, a digital data collection network, and an event series. The first component, Greenhouse Theater, is a multipurpose structure designed by Terri Chiao and Adam Frezza and built by Biome Arts and collaborators. Greenhouse Theater serves as communal gallery, laboratory, data hub, and space for gathering and performance on Swale.
The Greenhouse Theater is the locus of Biome Arts' communal art project, Archive of the Ecological Future, a data visualization projected onto a fabric sculpture and large screen built in the structure. Weather, water and soil sensors were placed on Swale by Biome Arts to gather the data that drives the visualization. The visualization is a hub for information about Swale, Biome Arts, the organizations that have participated in Swale and organizations whose missions are aligned with Swale. The visualization has two primary sections: one that contains a record of all data gathered at Swale during the summer and fall of 2016 (e.g. wind speed, wind direction, location, soil moisture, temperature etc.) and one that contains an organization paired with a plant on Swale and a poetic text clipped from the website of the organization. The texts can be read in any order, or in the linear order that forms a long text about the purposes of Swale. Archive of the Ecological Future is a community project meant to help people organize for a just, sustainable and transparent social future.
Archive of the Ecological Future is accompanied by a complementary sound piece, Data Bell by Brian House which generates a series of bell tones every hour based on the data gathered on Swale. These pieces were the backdrop for events taking place on Swale such as live music, performances and video screenings which, along with other programming on Swale, raised awareness around food production and made tools for ecological sustainability, civic technology, and distributed governance accessible to the public.
For more information on Eco_Hack 2016 and Biome Arts please visit biomearts.net.
Eco_Hack 2014 was a two-week symposium on ecology, technology, and the commons that culminated in the construction of a networked, semi-autonomous structure in the woods of Delhi, New York. The structure, Forest Pavilion, designed by Terri Chiao and Adam Frezza served as a performance space, international meeting hall, gallery and platform for other artworks, as well as being a symbol and monument to our goals and ideals.
The Forest Pavilion and Eco_Hack 2014 hosted five other artworks created by the artist-participants: a time-lapse video of the forest during the day projected onto the structure at night, a dance performance that traced the supply chain of the computer from the Congo to the United States, a musical performance based upon data gathered from the local geographic conditions, a series of sculptures inspired by the surrounding flora and fauna, an immersive three dimensional meeting space for international activists, as well as housing Biome Arts first major installation: The Core, a nexus of ecological systems, human communities, and digital networks.
Constructed within Forest Pavilion, The Core is the final installation of Eco_Hack 2014. The Core is a conversation machine, interspecies feedback loop, and immersive space for rhizomatic discourse. The Core is simultaneously a monument to and nexus of ecological systems, human communities, and digital networks. The Core bridges virtual and physical, biological and technological, individual and collective. The Core embodies the dialogue it engenders.
The digital component of The Core is an interactive mind-map that is editable by anyone in the world with internet access. Also accessible within The Core via four computer terminals, the mind-map evolves as participants discuss, rearrange, and add new topics along an axial coordinate system. Establishing a real-world locus, the mind-map is projection mapped on to a multi-layered column of sheer fabric at the center of The Core. The biological elements of The Core include cultivated Vanessa cardui butterflies and wild moths of the genera Paonias, Lophocampa, Nemoria, Actias, and others. These raised and wild insects are drawn to light of the projected mind-map and shift the attention of participants. Thus the flow of conversation. As such, this interspecies collaboration propels the evolution of the projected mind-map creating an autopoietic circuit.
For more information on Eco_Hack 2014 please visit biomearts.net