An ecosystem of worms, sowbugs, plants and bacteria live and eat at this table. They are a part of the digestive system that starts with a person discarding food leftovers and shredded paper into the portal at the top. The bacteria and sowbugs begin breaking down the waste and the worms soon join in to further digest it into a rich compost that sprinkles out of the bottom of the fabric bag that hangs beneath the table. This compost is used as a fertilizer for plants, such as those at the base of the table.
The human plays an important part at the table by eating, feeding the food waste to the worms, feeding the resulting fertilizer to the plants, or by simply sitting and appreciating the living ecosystem she/he is a part of. A cross-section of the activity inside the top 9 inches of the compost is made visible using an infrared security camera connected to an LCD screen built into the table. On the screen, viewers can see the live movements of the worms and sowbugs inside.
"I installed an ant colony inside my scanner five years ago. I scanned the nest each week..."
>This short film is an exploration of the aesthetic of life and degradation.
Five years ago, I installed an ant colony inside my old scanner that allowed me to scan in high definition this ever evolving microcosm (animal, vegetable and mineral). The resulting clip is a close-up examination of how these tiny beings live in this unique ant farm. I observed how decay and corrosion slowly but surely invaded the internal organs of the scanner. Nature gradually takes hold of this completely synthetic environment.
The ants are still alive : the process will continue…
Part of the WORLD EXPO Shanghai 2010, presented by "OPEN THIS END"
This interactive installation offers human participants an opportunity to tune into - and bodily experience - the vibrations made by tiny, soil-dwelling beings. Humans continue to be interested in detecting signals of extra-terrestrial life in outer space, but have overlooked the intra-terrestrial signals of life – the worms and insects that sustain our own terrestrial existence. This highly amplified environment allows humans a chance to appreciate these extraordinary life forms through live, amplified sounds and infrared video. Hopefully this experience will give a viewer/participant a different sense of the life inside the earth; one that goes beyond the scientific and instead approaches something more akin to fellowship, communion or appreciation.
Truce is an interactive sound installation created by Robin Meier and Ali Momeni at the Spark Festival 2009, Minneapolis USA.
In their seminal paper "Flying in Tune: Sexual recognition in mosquitoes", Gabrielle Gibson and and Ian Russel from the University of Greenwich discovered an inspiring phenomenon: male mosquitoes change their buzzing frequency to match that of a female mosquito. This synchronization brings their wing beats to within a millisecond or less of one another. The authors suggest that this phenomenon facilitates the mosquitoes' ability to copulate mid-flight. We take advantage of this phenomenon to engage the mosquitoes in song, inspired by the North Indian classical vocal tradition of Dhrupad.
Our installation explores reciprocal musical interactions between the mosquito and the computer. The computer produces a stimulus signal to which the living mosquitos synchronize. Subsequently, the computer sings a third voice that responds to the musical inflections of the mosquitoes' buzz. These three voices come in and out of harmony depending on the mosquitoes propensity to maintain its sync with the stimulus signal.
In our installation, each mosquito is equipped with a loud-speaker for providing the stimulus signal, a sensitive microphone for picking up the mosquitoes' buzz, a camera for giving us a closer look at the insect, a kinetic component that allows the mosquitoes to rest every few minutes and a light bulb that shows the mosquito's activity.
Notes for the visitors to the gallery were as follows:
We invite our visitors to interact with the mosquitoes. This interactions must be gentle; we request that you limit your interactions to one of two possibilities:
Offering a finger tip for the mosquito to land: slowly approach the mosquito from below and stop about 1/4 inche away from the mosquito. The mosquito will recognize the landing spot and extend his/her legs to reach you.
Exhaling on the mosquito: the carbon dioxide in our breath excites and entices the mosquitoes.
Please avoid applying pressure to the mosquito, touching its wings, or touching the wire to which the mosquito is attached. These actions can hurt the mosquito, free the mosquito or produce undesirable sounds.
We wish to give special thanks to Ann Falon, a researcher at the University of Minnesota. Without her generous offer of the facilities and mosquitoes of her St. Paul laboratory, this project would not have been possible.
We also wish to give thanks to Andrea Steudel for her excellent documentation work