Hortus Bionicus

A Photosynthesizer


Hortus Bionicus is a growing sculptural sound-installation conceptualised and designed by Hannes Andersson & Simon Haakmesteer, (and realised in collaboration with Klaas Hendrik Hantschel & Sigita Zurauskaite.

The installation uses the data from live plants to generate a light and sound environment (for those very plants), through photo- and granular synthesis.

The result is something like a nightclub for plants, where the plants can effect their own environment to their liking.

The installation was commissioned by the Groningen Cultural Embassy in Leeuwaarden for the, where it grew and was shown during the autumn of 2018, as a part of the exhibition ‘Water Waterstof’.

Groningen Cultural Embassy

At the invitation of Leeuwarden Cultural Capital of Europe 2018 (LF2018), the province of Groningen and the municipality of Groningen are going to Leeuwarden. From Saturday 15 September to 18 November 2018 a temporary Cultural Embassy can be found in the Zuiderstadsgracht containing art projects and activities of Groningen art institutions on the themes of water and hydrogen. The program is realized under the coordination of the Center for Visual Arts (CBK) in Groningen.

Water waterstof

Sea level rise, water pollution, energy transition, these are current social issues in which water and hydrogen play a major role. Artists are also researching this and have surprising views on this. You will see their views on these themes in various presentations, including an installation about the function of water in the household, an installation powered by hydrogen, a video in which an artist builds his own island and a video installation in which an artist moves in the water with a tiger and a crocodile. The presentations are provided by the Bierumer School, the CBK Groningen, Academie Minerva, NAIP, NP3 and SIGN. Participating artists are: Hannes Arvid Andersson, Annette Behrens, Paula Biemans, Katie Ceekay, Jan Pieter van den Bos, Evelina Domnitch & Dmitry Gelfand, Simon Haakmeester,

The process of obtaining hydrogen from water is a hot topic nowadays.
Hydrogen is seen as the future for humankind, as it gives us the opportunity to power our cars without the fossil fuels that has started to take their toll on our fragile environment, as well as the space rockets that might one day carry us to new beginnings elsewhere. But we tend to give less attention the byproduct this
process creates, namely oxygen. An element that is often forgotten but is quite vital to our survival.

For example, when we are cutting away the worlds forests we are loosing the natural production of oxygen. Perhaps it is possible to create a more interwoven and sustainable digital-organic biocultural ecosystem through sym-poiesis with, or making-with, the natural environment, and achieving a fruitful cultural exchange

between- and the flourishing of-

humans and non-humans alike?

Engaging with this question, four artists, working in different mediums, decided to join forces with plants of different kinds,

in a collaborative effort to – with the help of computational processes, photosynthesis and digital sensory equipment – create a digitally augmented growth process in the form of a acoustorespiratory bio-electronic environment.


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