From Outer Space to Underground

Econtinuum by Thijs Biersteker

Econtinuum was was presented in Nxt Museum’sr first exhibition. Shifting Proximities explored human experience and interaction in the face of social and technological change. The exhibition comprised of seven audiovisual artworks, fusing creative ideas with groundbreaking academic research and technological innovation, illustrated the space between ourselves and others. ⁠

The work by ecological artist Thijs Biersteker in collaboration with Italian botanist and pioneer of plant neurobiology Stefano Mancuso invited visitors back into the ecosystem and presented the science of inter-plant communication in two tree root sculptures. Data captured by the sensors in the room was 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 were taken into the system, they realised that the roots responded to their presence and learned 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 world’s 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.

Thijs 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.

Interested in hearing the artist’s story about artwork? Listen to our Podcast episode to dive into the background story of Distortions in Spacetime:

Listen to the podcast episode on Spotify or Apple Podcasts

Discover more about the artist and botanist on Instagram: Thijs Biersteker Stefano Mancuso

Content Category
Shifting Proximities
Team Nxt
01 Oct 2021