To make Biomodd [NYC4] more sustainable by:
- Creating a more extended photovoltaic system. This means Biomodd will be powered by more solar energy and rely less on the grid.
- Using LED-based grow lights which need less power than the cheaper fluorescents.
To expand the robotic caretakers for the window gardens, ensuring that the plants (all edible) are cared for properly and continue to grow and thrive while at the museum, making them as nutritious and as tasty as possible.
To support the urban agriculture & e-waste re-use workshops for the local immigrant families in Queens.
But, What Is Biomodd?
Biomodd is an open source project that crosses the boundary of category and finds itself at a wonderful intersection of art, technology, ecology and community building. It was conceived and initiated by Angelo Vermeulen, a TED Fellow artist and biologist who has recently been selected for the NASA-funded HI-SEAS Mars simulation in Hawaii in early 2013.
At its root, Biomodd is an art installation that brings plants, computers, electronics and people together - all working harmoniously with one another. Biomodd is a functioning computer sculpture with a living ecosystem inside of it. The interior plants and other organisms thrive because of the waste heat of the electronics and a series of robotic caretakers.
Biomodd’s essence is a unique, emerging and organic living system that explores what many may find unimaginable, and offers a glimpse into symbiotic possibilities for our sustainable future.
So - what does this actually look like? Well, to give you an idea, here are some images of past versions. Make sure to check out the video above for a more elaborate explanation.
Where We’re At, Why We Need YOUR Support
Biomodd is currently in it’s 4th large-scale incarnation and will be exhibited at the New York Hall of Science (NYSCI) as part of the museum’s first group art exhibition, ReGeneration - opening on October 25, 2012. YES - that means just a few weeks from now.
Biomodd [NYC4] at NYSCI is the largest and most evolved version to date, occupying two different locations within the museum.
Here are things that are different about Biomodd [NYC4] compared to earlier iterations:
(1) Sustainable energy: This will be the first time we’ll have part of our energy supply coming from sustainable sources.
(2) Food: This will be the first Biomodd in which every single plant will be edible. We’re essentially meshing the idea of (experimental) urban gardening with Biomodd. This will offer interesting opportunities for performative events in which food gets discussed, harvested and shared.
(3) Politics and aesthetics of immigration: We partnered up with Immigration Movement International, and we will be hosting workshops with them on urban gardening and cooking with locally grown food.
(4) Mixed ‘entangled’ reality: The goal is to create a system in which there’s a two-way communication between living biology, and the virtual world running on the computer network. We’re not talking about typical data visualization, or one-way robotic interfacing. We’re working on the idea of full integration, and ‘empowering’ both realities to directly influence and reconfigure each other. Allowing plants to morph, inhibit or strengthen aspects of the virtual world (it’s gameplay rules, aesthetics, artificial intelligence etc.), while at the same time empowering that virtual world to physically manipulate the ecosystem (through robotics). In such a system cause and effect become ‘entangled’, and a new form of reality emerges.
(5) Spaceship metaphor: This particular Biomodd version uses the ‘spaceship’ as a metaphor for it’s physical integration in the architecture of NYSCI. This is in turn informs and is informed by work that Angelo is doing with NASA and ESA.
While all the basic elements of Biomodd are already underway, the project at its current level of funding is still modest and conservative. It has significant limitations and needs your support to make it better (as described in The Goals above).
Our Goal of $7000 can make that happen. It will also help us get you your Biomodd perks. Biomodd has only ever been made possible by community support. We have a wonderful collaboration of artists, biologists, computer scientists, game designers, gardeners, community organizers and local residents all contributing incredible efforts to make Biomodd happen in New York City. What we need now is some additional funding to implement The Goals.
Your awesome pledge will help make this happen! And you’ll get an awesome perk(s) in return!
For More Info
Check out the community site Biomodd.net
Check out more photos on the Gallery page on the tabs above, or click here
Biomodd presented at World Maker Faire this past weekend and was named by Wired Magazine as one of the 10 Reasons Why the World Maker Faire Was Awesome!
Below you can see the designs for the T-shirts, poster and stickers (only showing one). All design by Lucas Caesens, Steffi Sturm, Pieter Steyaert and Ben Garthus.