No. 240

The Outside Inside

By : johanna

Entrant’s location : Germany


What did you create?

“The Outside Inside” is a series of interconnected works that imagine, prototype, and question contemporary and potential future relationships between environments, the species that inhabit these, and technology, through the lens of terraforming. Terraforming, the design of a planet to make it earth-like, has its origins in science fiction and space science. But increasingly, it is also discussed in relation to Earth, particularly within the context of mitigating the effects of climate breakdown and ecological crises. In the installation, plants, fungi, and lichen with terraforming abilities grow in terrariums which simulate possible environmental conditions of the year 2100. These species can cool permafrost regions and remove heavy metals or salt from soil. In a fictional film, a drone searches for new habitats these species could conserve or transform. The activities of the plants, fungi, and lichen are measured by sensors and transformed into binaural beats which induce a relaxed, meditative state in humans, allowing plants to take direct control of the human brain. Edible flowers harvested from the installation can be ingested, allowing visitors to "taste" a possible future.

Why did you make it?

The work addresses a topic of high contemporary relevance and communicates that a transformation of human-biosphere-technology relations will be key to addressing climate and ecological crises. It makes this tangible and experienceable in a visceral way, through simulations of potential future environments, brain-influencing sounds, ingestible futures, and imaginative visual explorations.

How did you make it?

The production process involved collaborations with a range of scientists, production technicians, and other artists and designers. Part of the process of the project were also two short workshops, one with school children and one with participants of an arts and technology festival. The fabrication of the work itself involved a mix of digital and manual design techniques, from film editing and animation to electronics soldering, resin casting and polishing, and glass fabrication.

Your entry’s specification

The installation consists of three parts. One is a film shown on a vertical screen of approximately 4 meters height. In front of it is a sculptural piece that takes the shape of a highly technologized indoor garden positioned on a custom made organically shaped plinth, with glass domes that sit on bowls (30x25x25cm each), stones, landscape-shaped formed sheets and electronics (small towers of 10x10x15cm each). The third part of the installation is a fridge which if filled with several hundred flowers grown in potential future environmental conditions.