Garden of Ghost Flowers, (2022-ongoing)

VR experience for HTC Vive

Garden of Ghost Flowers involves the public in an artwork oscillating between an exhibition and an ongoing experiential laboratory around technology, resonance, and non-human agency. A dozen visitors wear networked AR headsets that connect to a local server running the life cycles of a mixed reality object powered by a genetic algorithm: a Ghost Flower (GF), modelled after the traits of Monotropa Uniflora, commonly known as the ‘ghost flower’, a plant that abandoned photosynthesis and survives in darkness feeding on underground fungal networks that live in symbiosis with trees. Inside the digital Garden, the GF lives on the resonance of the human voice. The algorithm extracts the procedural data of pitch, volume and proximity between the visitors' voices into various types of cells that are seen coming out from their mouths in AR, cultivating a digital biotope from which the flower grows. If the conditions are right, the algorithm procedurally distorts and mutates visitors' voices until they crystallise and become visible cellular membranes forming tangible extensions of resonance between them. The survival of these organisms depends on visitors' ability to listen, adapt and respond as a group. The Flower is growing and thriving, subsuming the group until it blurs the boundaries of its constituents. Where do the human end and the flower begin?

Each generation of visitors leaves the biosphere in a state where the next group starts to create a new cycle but also leaves behind an immersive archive of unique time-lapses of the artificial ecosystem experienced in PC-VR where the haunting presence of extracted human voices erupt like volcanoes in the dark. By posting an artificial lifeform, modelled after an endangered flower, as an explicit mediator of human relations inside a garden framed by technology, who learns and reacts to its visitors, the encounter between the humans in the garden also involves meeting the 'more than human' in the technology itself.

 

Credits:

 

Garden of Ghost Flowers, (2022-ongoing)

By Lundahl & Seitl and Untold Garden

Co-artists: Untold Garden Max Čelar Jakob Skote Kamlaker Dev Singh Reuben Carter

Dramaturg: Rachel Alexander

Composer: Hara Alonso

Producer: Emma Ward

Biosphere fabric-structure: Maria Lindqvist & Johanna Mårtensson

Co-production Garden of Ghost Flowers is a STRP ACT AWARD commission

Ongoing Research Programme Magasin III ’Work in Progress’

The Garden of Ghost Flowers is researched and developed with support by CPH:LAB, Manchester International Festival (UK), IDFA DocLAB, Screen City Biennale (NO), and Magasin lll’s Work in Progress programme.

 

Duration: 45 minutes

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VIDEO LINK

ABOUT THE ARTISTS

Lundahl &  Seitl live and work in Stockholm. Their immersive solo projects reinterpret the medium of the exhibition as interpersonal processes via choreography, matter and time. The duo have developed a method and an art form comprising staging, choreographed movement, instructions, and immersive technologies, juxtaposed with material objects and the human ability to organize perception into a world.

 

Untold Garden is a London and Stockholm based art and design studio exploring how technology can catalyse interpersonal relationships and enable alternative human experiences. In their projects, they aim to go beyond the distinction between tools and objects and instead see each object as a potential platform to enable new ideas. Their works include physical installations, virtual sculptures, interactive performances, artificial natures and experimental social networks.

If you are interested in exhibiting or viewing this artistic VR experience, please send an email to us.

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