From outer space to underground

Econtinuum invites us back into the ecosystem. This newly-commissioned work by ecological artist Thijs Biersteker in collaboration with Italian botanist and pioneer of plant neurobiology Stefano Mancuso presents the science of inter-plant communication in two tree root sculptures. Data captured by the sensors in the room is fed into an artificially intelligent system that mimics the intelligent symbiotic relationship taking place beneath our feet. It uncovers how trees work together, warn each other, learn from each other and share nutrients. As visitors are taken into the system, they realise that the roots respond to their presence and learn from their patterns, forming a futuristic knowledge-sharing ecosystem with one central message: together we are stronger.

Thijs Biersteker creates interactive awareness installations about the worlds most pressing issues today. His work seamlessly combines scientific research and new technologies to deliver an empowering experience that is accessible both intellectually and technologically.

His immersive art installations, often described as eco- or awareness art, turn the impact of topics like climate change, air pollution, ocean plastic and data misuse into a tangible experience. Using a fluid mixture of data, nature, kinetic motion, digital visualisations and analog elements, the virtual and real worlds.

Currently Biersteker holds a teaching position at the Delft University of Technology (NL). He has won awards like the prestigious Lumen Prize for digital art, got nominated for the Stars Prize from Ars Electronica, and the New Technology Art Award. He is a TED speaker and has exhibited at Fondation Cartier pour l’art contemporain Paris (FR), Today Art Museum (CN), Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam (NL),Science Gallery Dublin (IE), SXSW (USA), Science Centre Kuwait (KW), Mu Gallery (NL) and has been featured in Wired, New Scientist, Financial Times and Discovery Channel.