01. TECHNONATURAL FUTURES

Speculative, Ongoing

The bifurcation of human culture and non-human nature is a notion that is pervasive in the Western world. However, it is neither universal nor true. Yet, as long as this perception remains, human society will continue to destroy non-human nature, and along with it, itself. Technonatural Futures is an ongoing series of explorations interrogating existing and alternative relationships between people, nature and technology throughout the past, present and future.

TECHNONATURAL FUTURES

Video essay, 2020

A video essay playing with the visual relationships between images to explore three defining phenomena of our generation: technological creation, environmental destruction, and the extinction of experience.

POET

Technological artefact, 2021

An imagined product of a future where nature and technology coexist harmoniously and without hierarchy, Poet allows users to communicate with a plant through poetry. In this future, plants are cohabiters rather than objects that are owned. If the plant is happy, if it has been cared for and interacted with, it will respond to touch by generating a poem.

With the technologies of today, we are able to give voice to things previously unheard. Throughout history and across cultures, poets have been inspired by and written about nature, from Wordsworth and Keats, to Bai Juyi and Matsuo Bashō. Using machine-generated language to present nature through a poet’s voice, Poet aims to return this sense of wonder and admiration to an audience that no longer pays the same attention to the non-human natural world.

SONG LIGHT

Technological artefact, 2021

Song Light is an ambient lighting system controlled by birdsong that aims to reintroduce nature into our technological lives. Powered by a convolutional neural network trained on the song of 88 bird species commonly heard in the United Kingdom, it amplifies their voices by expanding their song from the auditory to the visual realms. Each species of bird is represented by a unique colour. As songs of different birds are heard, the colour of the light responds; the more diverse the song, the more colourful the light. Bluer hues promote relaxation and calmness, and thus it is these colours that Song Light produces when it hears birdsong. Contrastingly, when the absence of song is detected, Song Light begins to veer towards the redder hues, red being the colour of warning. The longer the absence, the redder the light becomes.