Interview / Barcelona

Akyute { Art Connect }

( ENG )
WIP below for Spanish.

In your collective practice, you bring together technology and nature in interactive installations and audiovisual works. What drew you to work with plants in this digital, technological context?

We were drawn to the concept of "non-human intelligence" whilst developing a co-creative circuit board for an interactive installation in 2019. Researching the possibilities between nature and technology, we came across the experiments Cleve Backster conducted in the 70s exploring the environment of biodata visualization.

His work, alongside a series of other projects we had come across at the time, questioned the consciousness of plants, something completely unheard of by each of us...

This was a turning point, not only due to the change of paradigm we were processing whilst studying these kinds of topics; but the act of coming together and collaborating from very different backgrounds and approaches to design was very empowering.

We couldn’t believe how neither of us had ever heard of these kinds of concepts before, not only did it make us question why we had spent our lives thinking of plants as a non-intelligent species but also realizing the necessity scientific communication has to intersect with art.

This led us to develop our first prototype working with nature titled “Symbionic”, a “wearable” created to modulate sound through touch. The system was connected to a series of plants, creating a generative sound performance. This was followed by the adaptation of the format and system, to create our first interactive installation “Mirror Mirror” showcased at MUTEK ES 2019.

Both “Symbionic” and “Mirror Mirror” were experiences focused on leaving in evidence the intangible reflection of nature on ourselves and vice versa, something most the humans living in western cultures are oblivious to in their daily lives.

What would you say are some potential impacts of technological nature for the art and design scenes?

These kinds of crossovers blur the borders between the scientific and humanistic culture, creating what’s known as the “third culture”.

Thanks to the open-source platforms and libraries, these kinds of multidisciplinary exchanges are enabled, allowing both designers/artists and technologists/scientists to appropriate new mediums.

By integrating “nature” into the art and design scene we can bring alternative narratives and solutions to society, whilst simultaneously, the scientific and technological fields can establish great communication with the public through art and design.

Some of your recent projects include “Photo Microbial Fuel Cell” and an installation for “Multidisciplinary Garden Cartography”. What are you working on now, or what are your plans for developing such work further?

Currently, we're focused on further developing our performative installation “Paisaje Sonoro” (“Soundscape” translated from Spanish to English) for NEO at Cosmo Caixa in Barcelona for an Installation in October.

We’re looking into new sensors to connect to our system to bring together more elemental materials and natural systems to our work. Simultaneously, we constructing the physical interface and designing the lighting of the set on a much larger scale, bringing concepts such as "synesthesia" and "immersive experiences" into our practice.

Later on this year we shall also be inaugurating a new installation and performative format named "Aigua" - focused on the sound of water. 

( ES )