Botanica is an installation and a virtual reality experience of a “synthetic” ecosystem. The work explores the aspects of climate change that affect the changing Artic flora.
The artwork depicts the effects of climate change by relocating the audience to an environment where they face the changing Arctic biome. Participants first physically enter the art installation and then proceed to access the virtual space that presents a paradoxical harmony between the beauty of the flora and the alarming Landsat satellite data depicting the negative influences of climate change on ecosystems and biotic diversity. The project focuses on the nature’s echo, the loss of one biotic diversity and emergence of another one that replaces it. Both illustrate the horrifying consequences of climate change, by which the work attempts to evoke the feeling of the sublime – of both admiration and fear. The artist seeks ways to depict the problems of climate change beyond the dystopian imaginary, and simultaneously attempts to underline the inter-connectedness of nature, asking the question whether such an emerging experience can make us more empathic to the current and future climatic conditions.
The abstract and real 3D designed flora in the virtual environment is generated based on a series of numbers obtained from the latest Landsat data, which contains numerous images of the Arctic, converted into and then used in the installation. The viewer’s or participant’s experience is therefore in a way guided by the Landsat satellite data. Algorithms and the Tissue add-on for the Blender 3D program are used to generate objects, while the experience in the virtual space is induced by the installation placement – the sound, ambience and abstract digital collages of 3D designed nature that are randomly displayed on the two screens. Botanics is a depiction of the environment which is nothing more than a prototype or an outline for a VR world that will be upgraded in the future.
Photogallery of the exhibition (photo: Andrej Lamut)