Embraced







Interactive Installation
Spring . 2022

TouchDesigner
tree trunks . LCD screens . 110° wide-angle 2.8mm lens webcam . plaster . concrete . cables
7” x 7” x 45”  .  7” x 9” x 22”





< concept >
In a speculative future, nature and machine have merged into recombinant forms. Through pushing the boundaries between the natural and artificial, what are the possibilities for an augmented creation, and how may this hybrid form present itself in our everyday lives?

Embraced is a blend of a tree and machine existing in an urban environment as if they grew, assimilated and developed into a merged form. The installation explores and opens up possibilities of co-existence through the sculptural composition of tree, concrete, and LCD displays.







research









How is nature represented in the urban environment?


I think of the trees on the street. The trees are embedded into this urban space. The concrete walls and skyscrapers become the backdrop of the trees, or vice versa.




Grow up with the trees around my neighborhood. They stand there still and remain in their original form, unchanged for years and years; witnessing the radical changes and development of the surrounding environment.

It stays there since I was a child and until I grew up as if time is frozen. The buildings are changing, and my home is changing, but the trees are always there.

Yet, the trees and the environment always stay in isolated forms.










< what if >

Alternative co-existence form?


As the boundary between natural and artificial gets more and more blurry, how could nature and urban merge into recombinant forms instead of being isolated presences?










The trees around us have become part of our memory of a city, then how are we memorized by the trees?











Spy in the Wild

2017 . Nature documentary . 2 seasons

“...“Spy in the Wild” employs over 30 animatronic “spycams” disguised as animals to secretly record behavior in the wild. These spy cameras reveal animals as having emotions and behavior similar to humans – specifically, a capacity to love, grieve, deceive, cooperate, and invent.“
read more ︎︎︎












Trees are observing too


< seeing >
︎ We are making artificial creations to record the wild, the wild lives may have also been observing us.
︎ Trees are like the guardian of the city as stand in one place in the river of time. They have sensed a lot that happened around them. Some trees grow eye-like patterns as if they are watching and observing the world. People talk to tree holes as if the trees listen.




< memorizing >
Tree rings are like the brain of a tree, it’s tightly related to its surrounding environment and changes. It provides a record of not only how old the tree is, but also what the weather was like during each year of the tree’s life.

It is an evidence of both the tree’s existence, and the change of the environment.












process






These renderings present an installation that builds a connection between the tree and concrete columns and embeds them inside each other.

However, this does not suggest a combined presence enough, nor shows the memory of the tree.


rendered with Blender







Technology as an augmentation of the tree


The concept of vision in plants suggests their ability to sense the surrounding via plant-specific ocelli(another term for simple eye). Although the evidence for eyelike structures in higher plants remains limited, it is growing.

If the trees connect with the surrounding environment, how could they develop along the river of time? What have they sensed?





Technology has been an significant part to augment human abilities and upgrade of urban life. In Embraced, LCD screens are embedded into a tree to construct an augmented creature. Emergent technology engages in the development and evolution of the eyes of the tree, and forms its memories. As if nature and urban grow, assimilate and develop together into a merged form.











< initial design >
Started by creating the “senses” and “memory” of the tree.

Including a digital motion-sensitive eye that moves according to surrounding motions; a sound-reactive wheel that reflects the environmental sound and compose to a tree ring form; and a live camera that captures what the tree sees then process to form the memory of the tree(tree rings).


all built and rendered in TouchDesigner








< iteration >











< TouchDesigner network >
Sound-reaction, image capture, and visual effects are all designed and constructed in TouchDesigner. Connected with an external wide-angle camera to detect human figure and capture motions.










< wood carving >
Cutting and carving out the wood, and combining the concrete with the trunk to further merging the tree and the surrounding environment











< concrete and plaster >
︎︎︎  Experimented many time with a few times of failures
︎︎︎  Plastered more than 10 layers
︎︎︎  Sanded over and over again


















Embraced




Interactive Installation
Spring 2022
Echos, New York, United States


In a speculative future, nature and machine have merged into recombinant forms. Through pushing the boundaries between the natural and artificial, what are the possibilities for an augmented creation, and how may this hybrid form present itself in our everyday lives?

Embraced is a blend of a tree and machine existing in an urban environment as if they grew, assimilated and developed into a merged form. The installation explores and opens up possibilities of co-existence through the sculptural composition of tree, concrete, and LCD displays.






TouchDesigner
tree trunks . LCD screens . 110° wide-angle 2.8mm lens webcam . plaster . concrete . cables
7” x 7” x 45”  .  7” x 9” x 22”









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