Homeostasis is a dynamic-interactive digital media installation featuring generative systems that approximate ecological processes of forest growth, adaptation and disturbance from wildfire. The forest of Homeostasis maintains itself in an adaptive balance through cycles of growth and decay. Without the presence of the viewer, the system will run continually in this adaptive equilibrium. Homeostasis fosters space for viewers to reflect on our cultural relationships to wildfire and the evolutionary autonomy of ecosystems.
The movements of viewers in the gallery space are recorded by a depth camera and are mapped to the virtual landscape. This live input influences the dynamic installation by removing fire from the landscape, causing the system to become overgrown and increasingly vulnerable to large-scale collapse. The interactive element of this piece is subtle and may not be immediately apparent to the viewer, but they actively influence the growth and health of the system, whether or not they are aware of this interaction.
Homeostasis simulates the complex cycles of collapse and renewal of a fire-adapted ecosystem as a meditative installation. The flames and smoke that spread are simultaneously beautiful and emotionally unsettling. The burn patterns carved into the forest are organic and patchy, reflecting the lifelike quality of wildfire. The regrowth of the system is visible as trees rise from the ground, turn color, and disintegrate, opening space for a new tree to fill its place. The cumulative growth and death of individual trees creates a dynamic surface over the landscape. The simulated ecological processes of growth and disturbance operate simultaneously, presenting a clear relationship of life cycles inherent in forest ecosystems.