Ars Electronica Garden Barcelona

Solar Orchard Garden

ESPRONCEDA - Institute of Art & Culture (ES), MIRA Festival (ES), Insitute Ramon Llull (ES), Helsinki XR Center (FI), ./studio3, Institut for Experimental Architecture (AT), MEET Digital Culture Center (IT), UCA (UK)

The Solar Orchard Garden is a complex system that activates the curiosity of visitors / participants by play with two complementary concepts: quintessence, the fifth element of alchemy, and the Gaia Hypothesis, which looks at Earth as a self-regulated complex system.

The Stargazer installation is a 360° semi-spherical space that interacts with visitors, on site and online by Mozilla HUB, to create wonder and co-creative experiences.

The Amazonia experience is a participatory dynamic combining real performances with advanced technology installations from real time COVID-19 expansion to the sounds coming from the space. Nature is always more powerful than human technology.

Solar Orchard Garden – Quintessence and Gaia Hypothesis

Curiosity and Complexity defines Solar Orchard Garden on the basis of two concepts: quintessence, the fifth element described by alchemy, and the Gaia Hypothesis formulated in the seventies.

Humans have always looked up to the skies for otherness and origin – god, knowledge, destination, life. At the same time, Earth a self-regulating complex system, organic and inorganic at once, orchestrates the biosphere, the atmosphere, the hydrospheres and the pedosphere.

The on site and online visitors / participants of the Solar Orchard Garden are invited to participate in two complex experiences: Stargazer and Amazonia.

Stargazer is an experiment of hybrid presence, an artwork situated between two interconnected sites – a dome projection in Barcelona and the virtual world in Mozilla Hubs.

The virtual world of Stargazer draws its visual inspiration from a pre-scientific understanding of the cosmos, materialised as Platonic solids. It encourages visitors to engage playfully, create and share their own mini narratives as pictures and question the concepts of communication, distance, time and presence. It’s like sending a virtual message in a bottle into space: The pictures alter the dome projection site in Barcelona, where visitors observe changes to their visual environment in real time. Who sees these messages, what is their impact, and how will they respond?

The Amazonia experience shows Earth as a continuous ecological equilibrium with the Sun, its source of energy and an extreme danger to life, from COVID-19 spreading across the globe to ritualistic performances that demonstrate to contemporary, Anthropocenic humans, how Nature always calls the shots.


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Project Credits / Acknowledgements

MIRA Festival
Garage Stories
Eyesberg Studio
Institut Ramon Llull

Espronceda-Institute of Art & Culture
MIRA Festival
Institut Ramon Llull
Helsinki XR Center
./3 studio Institute for Experimental Architecture
MEET Digital Culture Center