An environmental data-driven plant-robot that shows how our political choices made today, impact the climate of tomorrow

Amsterdam | Started on 01/05/2021

Climate and biodiversity data is hard to understand and it is even harder to understand we are at a crossroads today. To visualise the impact we can have on the climate of tomorrow Ecological artist Thijs Biersteker has created a 5-metre-tall robotic plant. The robotic plant is growing on biodiversity prediction data from the Natural History Museum. Growing or declining based on what path we choose. Do we choose a fossil-fuel road or a sustainable path? The plantanoid visualises the scenarios as if it was a thermometer. Visitors see the impact of a nationalistic American government, unequal French society, or a just-ignore-everything Dutch politics on the climate and biodiversity of 2050.

The artwork ‘Econario’ provides a powerful iconic representation of how choices society makes today will affect the state of nature over the next thirty years. Creating a (literally) moving monument to the importance of the political choices we are making now for the future of our planet. The work was at the centre of the COP15 in Montreal, translating the impact of the negotiations in real-time towards an impactful data representation, giving decision-makers and negotiators a tangible outcome of their abstract negotiations. When on view at the Kunstkerk in the Netherlands grownups and children saw the work moving like a small fragile seedling finding its way up. No growing with the help of nutrients, but driven by data from the Biodiversity Intactness Index (BII) developed by the Natural History Museum. A dataset that shows the impact on the climate and the future of biodiversity based on the political choices we make today.

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