Biomer Skelters | 2013
Biomer Skelters – the title is a merger from “biome“ (ecosystem) and “helter-skelter“ (disorderly haste or confusion) – is an Augmented Reality work by Tamiko Thiel and Will Pappenheimer. The artists call it an “ecosystem propagator designed … to speed up the process of reforestation“ in cities or landscapes, “turning participants into ‘Biomer Skelters’ as they start to spread vegetation in their wake. Increased propagation causes increased helter-skelter and dense plant growth. Cultivation of virtual plant life is driven by a range of individual participant states and activities indicated by bio sensing and volition.“
Participants are supplied with chestbelt sensors which monitor their heart rates. The heart rates are understood by the artists as “a suggestive indicator of a participant’s physiological and psychological state in terms of interest, calmness or excitement.“ The increases in propagation are linked to the decreases in heart rate, a metaphorical translation of “psychological calmness“ into “good ecological system“.
Tamiko also states that “Biomer Skelters especially of course very strongly addresses the internal senses, getting the participants to pay attention to their internal state and heart rate, and giving them external feedback that they have just planted using the vibration of the Android device. Biomer Skelters helps them map the terrain they are traversing in terms of how it affects their own body…”
Primary sensory cross-modalities: PROPRIOCEPTION, KINESTHETICS, VISION, TOUCH