An Immersive Light Installation Controlled by Eco-Systems. By Betty Sargeant and Justin Dwyer
White Night Melbourne, Melbourne Museum, AUSTRALIA, August 2019
Digital Agora, St Andrews, AUSTRALIA, September 2019
Geelong Arts Centre, AUSTRALIA, November 2019
Breathe is an immersive art experience by the Melbourne art-technology duo PluginHUMAN. It is inspired by organic structures. This artwork features recycled acrylic tubes, printed with images of microscopic elements from natural environments. Inside the tubes are led lights. The colours and patterns of the lights are controlled by environmental changes that occur in significant international ecosystems. This immersive installation was created by PluginHUMAN in response to their research and field trips in the Amazon, Panama and Australia.
Breathe provides audiences with an organic encounter, one that’s mediated by digital technology. This art lighting installation does not replicate nature. It presents hidden elements from natural environments, bringing the micro to macro scale. PluginHUMAN used microscopes, environmental sensing equipment and audio recording equipment (including hydrophones) to uncover aspects of nature that people cannot experience without the use of specialist tools. This installation makes concealed natural elements available to audiences in order for people to gain a new perspective and a deeper connection with our natural world.
In 2019 PluginHUMAN took part in the LabVerde: Artist Immersion in the Amazon program. During this program they conducted studies and collected environmental data from deep inside the Brazilian Amazon. The audio and environmental data they collected in the Amazon forms a core part of the Breathe audio and visual installation.
In 2019 PluginHUMAN collaborated with international environmental artists as part of the Digital Naturalism Conference and the Digital Naturalism Artist Laboratory program in Panama. This involved data collection, jungle-based field research, knowledge sharing and collaboration. The data that PluginHUMAN collected in Panama was fed into the audio and visuals of this artwork.
This artwork also involved collaboration with First Nations teams from Melbourne Museum (Australia). One installation of this artwork features both the immersive led light sculptures and a large abstract screen-based artwork that showcases contemporary perspectives on the Museum’s First People’s collection.
Betty Sargeant ~ Artist (micrographs), technical design, producer, field recordings
Justin Dwyer ~ Artist, technical design, programmer, composer
Thanks to Florian ‘Floyd’ Mueller and the Exertion Games Lab, Monash University, Australia.
RELATED LED ART AND ECO ARTWORKS
PluginHUMAN have created a series of environmental artworks. Breathe is part of a wider body of work. Betty Sargeant and Justin Dwyer have created five environmental artworks and art lighting sculptures that provide audiences with immersive and interactive experiences. These include the light sculpture PULSE and the video artwork CONCEAL.
PluginHUMAN is a multi-award-winning art duo led by Dr Betty Sargeant and Justin Dwyer. PluginHUMAN are at the progressive edge of their field, providing audiences with new cultural, environmental and scientific perspectives. Their artworks address the leading questions and concerns of our times.
PluginHUMAN’s real time art centres around the art of illumination. They create projection mapping, video artworks, and led immersive multi-sensory environments. They use the medium of light to translate complex data into meaningful audience experiences.
PluginHUMAN has created commissioned artworks for institutions such as the National Taiwan Museum of Fine Arts (Taiwan), the Asia Culture Centre (South Korea), Questacon (Australia’s National Science and Technology Centre), the Melbourne Museum (White Night Festival, Australia) and Experimenta (Australian triennial touring media art exhibition). They have exhibited in Europe, North America, Asia and Australia. PluginHUMAN were awarded the Rupert Bunny Foundation Visual Art Fellowship (2019/20); they’re developing new carbon neutral and carbon negative materials and working methods. They have also won Good Design Awards (2020 and 2018), and a Victorian Premier’s Design Award (2017).
PluginHUMAN has an acute understanding of the role that technology plays in contemporary society. They reimagine new technologies to produce artistic innovations, creating meaningful large and small scale audience experiences for indoor spaces and outdoor public arenas. They specialise in immersive and interactive art environments.