A conversation between tree and people through 3D light patterns using the tree’s leaves as voxels. The tree invites viewers with a choreographed cloud of light that can respond visitors motion. As visitors approach, they can explore the immediate and cryptic nature of this reaction.
Kimchi and Chips is Elliot Woods (UK) and Mimi Son (South Korea), a digital media art and design practice based in Seoul which conceives and produces environments, installations and products to enable unexpected and beautiful experiences for people living today.
Their installations focus on the interactions/reactions of people when faced with new media materials, leading them to deconstruct the technical and artistic paradigms of new media techniques and develop them in novel directions.[/dc_column]
The result is new ways of merging artificial realities into physical ones in order to create natural interactions between people and the possibilities of the digital world. Their artistic enquiry focuses on storytelling and the sharing of memories, through which they create private and social experiences through interactions between humans and their artworks.
Lit Tree – interactive installation
A small potted tree has a perpetual conversation with people. Through the use of video projection, a tree is augmented in a non-invasive way, enabling the presentation of volumetric light patterns using it’s own leaves as voxels (3D pixels). Kimchi and Chips have developed our own structured light system (called MapTools-SL) which scans the location of every pixel in 3D, allowing a cloud of scattered projector pixels to be used as 3D Voxels.
The tree invites viewers with a choreographed cloud of light that can respond visitors motion. As visitors approach, they can explore the immediate and cryptic nature of this reaction. The tree can form gestures in this way, and can in turn detect the gestures of its visitors. By applying a superficial layer of immediate interaction to the tree, can people better appreciate the long term invisible interaction that they share with it?
We propose an alternative to the media facade, whereby designers and advertisers use LED and projection technology to display graphics through the built environment. We suggest that use of media facades can lead to an asymptote of confusion and visual pollution. Instead, we ask how can an unscripted natural entity within our environment can also be visually celebrated. If we can promote the use of trees as outdoor visual media, then we can better plan cities to both accommodate the human requirement for nature, and our developing want for digital control over the visual environment.
Since the colour temperature of light produced by a video projector’s bulb is similar to the surface of the sun (5800K), we suggest that over time, the tree could naturally react to the light that is projected onto it. In this way we could speak to the tree in the medium it can react to most immediately, light. We listen to the tree’s reaction through the detailed 3D scans of its shape that are produced by the projection system.
This type of photosynthesis would also allow for the tree to self-optimise for projection. Leaves which are in shadow from the projection move out to find the projector’s light. Furthermore light wasted inside the tree is absorbed in photosynthesis, which converts local carbon dioxide to oxygen.