We do not acknowledge that collaboration with plants is paramount to our existence. Econtinuum is a new installation by ecological artist Thijs Biersteker, in partnership with different scientists and commissioned by Nxt Museum. It visualises the latest pioneering research into plant-to-plant communication. In discussion with the artist and bio-engineer in environmental technology, we will uncover how trees work together, how to learn from each other, warn each other and share nutrients, but also how we can learn from it to improve our own communication and relationships. We can again connect with nature by using the latest technology.
Professor Kathy Steppe is a bio-engineer in environmental technology and obtained her doctorate in applied biological sciences from Ghent University in 2004. Since 2008, she has been leading the laboratory of Plant Ecology at the Faculty of Bioscience Engineering at Ghent University. Her expertise lies in the field of ecophysiology in which she combines measurements with innovative plant sensors with plant models. From her interest in measuring plants with sensors, and to better understand how trees respond to changes in their climate and how trees can affect the climate, Prof. Kathy Steppe launched together with Prof. Stefan Mayr (University of Innsbruck, Austria) and Dr. Dirk De Pauw (Phyto-IT, Ghent), the citizen initiative CITREE (citree.net) to map the growth and utility of city trees.
Thijs Biersteker creates interactive awareness installations about the world’s most pressing issues today. His work seamlessly combines scientific research and new technologies to deliver an empowering experience that is accessible both intellectually and technologically.
His immersive art installations, often described as eco- or awareness art, turn the impact of climate change, air pollution, ocean plastic, diversity, data misuse into a tangible experience. Using a fluid mixture of data, nature, kinetic motion, water, digital visualisations, analog elements, the virtual and real worlds.
Currently Biersteker holds a teacher position at the Delft University of Technology (NL).
He has won awards like the prestigious Lumen prize for digital art, got nominated for the Stars Prize from Ars Electronica , and the New Technology Art Award. He is a TED speaker and has exhibited at Fondation Cartier pour l’art contemporain Paris (FR), Today Art Museum (CN), Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam (NL),Science Gallery Dublin (IE), SXSW (USA), Science Centre Kuwait (KW), Mu Gallery (NL) and has been featured in Wired, New Scientist, Financial Times and Discovery Channel.
Thijs Biersteker is founder of Woven Studio.