Gardens | 2004




video | 01 |

The multi-part installation dual gardens was developed for the media facade and interior of the Berlin headquarters of Vattenfall europe. Generated films projected on the inside and outside of the building transformed it into a growing, sprouting and blossoming garden that invited visitors to walk through and experience it.

Entering the building the visitors step into an immersive media space. The white conical dresses of actors serve as projection surface and initiate the visual choreography. Vines grow out of their dresses and unravel all over the floor, growing, flowering and multiplying until a gust of wind blows away all the petals and leaves and the cycle begins again. A generative sound composition reinforces the dynamic impression of this perpetually changing garden.

The interior installation was accompanied by a media facade. The facade of the building consists of a vertical and a horizontal array of windows which a liquid crystal layer keeps transparent by day and opaque by night. With this images can be projected onto the windows from inside the building. On the vertical surface that follows the stairwell up the building, a virtual tree trunk extends the real trunk installed under the roof of the entrance lobby. This virtual tree, slowly and subtly changes its form. Its branches sway in the wind, the leaves bud, unfurl and then slowly fall to the ground.
As soon as the building is closed for the night, mirrors redirect the 30-meter floor projection from the inside of the building onto the horizontal array of windows.

The installation dual gardens aimed to create virtual and abstracted flora that through its behavior is perceived as natural and absorb visitors in a strongly sensual experience.

Virtual objects that show a natural form of behavior are intuitively understood by viewers. While their apparently live, autonomous behavior elicits feelings of respect and curiosity that incite interaction, a certain formal abstraction makes it easier for viewers to accept the virtual as real. The virtual plants growth mimed real life. The computational designs were based on scientific research on natural growth and simulated these biological processes.

Conceived as a dialogue between real and virtual plants, dual gardens presented the public with an oasis of peace in an urban context.

The projects had been designed in conjunction with my friends and colleagues at art+com. Special mention Andreas Schlegel.