La vida secreta (de los árboles)
Secret Life (Trees)

A collaboration between students from  University of Alicante (UA), Spain; the Technical University of Delft (TUDelft), the Netherlands; and York University, Canada that resulted in a simultaneous internationally networked exhibition:
May 17th, 2017 from 10am - 12pm in the Transmedia Lab (ACW 103) at York University.
May 17th, 2017 from 4pm - 6pm in the Escuela Superior Politécnica IV at the University of Alicante.
And on July 7th and 8th at the Maker Festival ( Toronto, simulcast with Alicante, Spain.

Toronto (May 17, 2017)

Alicante (May 17, 2017)

This project was a collaboration between students from the University of Alicante (UA), Spain; the Technical University of Delft (TUDelft), the Netherlands; and York University, Canada. This three-way collaboration brought together architects, building technologists, and digital media artists to construct and activate an interactive installation between Toronto, Canada and in Alicante, Spain. The installation takes the form of two trees, one at York University and the other at the University of Alicante. The trees are networked allowing for distant interaction between the two locations simultaneously. The goal of the interaction is to ask "can we sense the presence of others without sight, sound or touch?" by exploring the potential of interacting with people in distant locations without relying on raw sound or image. The interaction is inspired by the book "The Hidden Life of Trees: What They Feel, How They Communicate―Discoveries from A Secret World” by Peter Wohlleben. Wohlleben has found that trees communicate with each other through a symbiotic interaction with fungus.  We have imagined an installation that would use this symbiosis as the basis for a system where the participants in the installation become part of the symbiotic communication by stimulating the fungus and affecting the trees in both locations. Additional elements, including motorized flowers, lighting elements, and sound contribute to immersive nature and the expression of the emergent behaviour of the project.

University of Alicante team leaders:
Prof. Jose Carrasco Hortal
Francesc Morales, Phd candidate
Salvador Serrano, Phd candidate

The University of Alicante team:
Ángela Natalia Shepherd Díaz, DanielA Pf, Daniel Rodríguez Sejas,Israel Pastor Ramos, Pedro Alejandro de Lera Garrido, Belen Jaquero Peña

Technical University of Delft team leaders:
Paul de Ruiter, Coordinator
Friso Gouwetor, Lecturer
Lennaert van Capelleveen

The TU Delft team:
Tim Neeskens, Eline de Vries, Marit de Groot, Rosanne Berkhout, Ákos Szabó, Bahareh Miri, Veerle van Es, Finn Dahlke, Dora Vancso, Jerry Pollux, pim buskermolen, Alex Kouwenhoven, Michael Cobb, Nikki Fung, Paul Johan van Berkel, Anne de Schepper, Tarik Alboustani, Alvaro Rodriguez Garcia, Congrui Zha, Antigoni Karaiskou, Lia Tramontini

York University team leader:
Prof. Mark-David Hosale

The York University Team:
Yue Chen, Kimberly Davis, Filiz Eryilmaz, Raechel Kula, Ryan Lee, Zhuoxuan Li, Kieran Maraj, Divya Mehta, Adiola Palmer, Amirbahador Rostami Ravari, Cheng Shao, Jackielou Tornato


For more details see:
Hortal, José Carrasco, Francesc Morales Menárguez, Salvador Serrano Salazar, Mark-David Hosale, and Friso Gouwetor. "Synchronized Artificial Natures: The Secret Life of Trees Connecting York, Delft and Alicante." In Congreso Internacional de Expresión Gráfica Arquitectónica, pp. 1372-1386. Springer, Cham, 2018.



York University • School of the Arts, Media, Performance, and Design • Toronto, Canada
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