CREATE NSW Inc.: Jun Ji Moey (Australia) / Tsz Kin Liu (Australia) / Jane Fan (Australia) / Jonathan Hribar (Australia) / Christie Wong (Australia)
Jeremy Low (Australia) / Jason Chu (Australia) / Emily Chan (Australia) / Yuen Chan (Australia) / Andy Zheng (Australia) / MAKE Club UNSW (Australia) / Anthony Feizi-Sobbi (Australia) / Dylan Goh (Australia) / Mahima Mandal (India)
Synergy presents as a pretty tableau from nature: a large plywood tree surrounded by similarly stylised ferns. However, this deceptively simple scene is actually a representation of a complex superorganism.
Using interactive technology, it demonstrates how inconspicuous microorganisms are absorbed into a greater whole and play a key role in the survival of a greater being. It draws inspiration from mycorrhizal networks where fungi connect and nourish plants, working together to sustain each other.
People can move freely through the work’s large area, but when they come into close proximity to the ferns, the whole organism reacts. It shares information visually by pulsing light along the roots towards the central tree, and the lighting on the ferns begins to dance — as if the tree has in turn warned them of approaching danger.
As visitors move along the path, a succession of nearby ferns light up and quickly die down, as if following the passage of these intruders; each individual organism working together for the survival of the whole superorganism.
By placing audience participation at the heart of the installation, Synergy symbolises the power of collective unity and collaboration; the whole installation does not fully materialise until multiple participants are simultaneously engaged.
The audience becomes deeply absorbed, and each activation becomes a uniquely personal as well as shared experience.
Country represented by installation: Australia