MOSS analyzes and reinterprets the air quality of our cities
Marco Barotti’s MOSS_이끼 is a kinetic sound sculpture Powered by live air quality data of Korean and global cities generated by AirKorea, World Air Quality Index and Sensor Community platform. The life and breathe installation is inspired by the biology and functionality of 10 species of moss and programmed to analyze the air quality of our cities and reinterpret the data with breathing patterns, movements and evolving soundscapes.
From Seoul to Berlin, Gwangju and Beijing, audiences can experience real-time air quality around the world, transformed into a sequence of sound and movement. Along the underside of the moss carpet, speakers installed with custom aluminum arms disperse sound and create movement, while an embedded monitor allows audiences to see the city being reimagined by the Art.
MOSS kinetic sound sculpture | all images courtesy of Marco Barotti
marco barotti discovers moss as an aesthetic medium
MOSS-이끼 arises from Berlin artist Marco Barotti’s interdisciplinary collaboration with curator Keumhwa Kim and landscape architect Jung-Hwa Kim. As part of the ‘Zer01ne’ creator program, an innovation platform for artists, designers and architects, the team wanted to discuss sustainability against the background of the climate crisis from the perspective of (post-)anthropocene, data science, citizen science and planthropology. Ultimately, the project contributes to global research and encourages citizens to engage in the crucial debate on air quality and earth democracy by learning from the wisdom of nature and the benefits of technology.
The team traveled around Korea interviewing bryologists, moss gardeners and air quality researchers and compiling their findings to materialize the kinetic sound sculpture MOSS-이끼, complemented by a documentary. The film includes five guided tours that take audiences from Gotjawal Forest to moss gardens and research institutes, and includes interviews with Korean bryologists, moss gardeners and air quality scientists, with the aim of conveying the ecological conditions and expressions of mosses.
A screen embedded in the moss carpet shows the location of the analyzed air
10 types of Korean moss form the kinetic sound sculpture
Together, the exhibition invites audiences to explore the potential of moss as an aesthetic medium that connects humans, other living beings, and technology, and synesthetically reinterprets and transmits air pollution data. The sculpture is formed by 10 representative moss species from Seonheul Gotjawal on Jeju Island to the DMZ, with the selection being curated by Korean bryologists at the Warm Temperate and Subtropical Forest Research Center, National Institute of Forest Science, National Institute of Ecology, South Korea.
“Mosses belong to the evolutionarily oldest group of land plants, the mosses. They have made their way from being used in traditional medicine to having multiple uses today: they delight us with their presence. They monitor the quality of our environment. They filter our air and our water. They offer ways to treat serious human diseases, and if we just let them grow, they will restore biodiversity and help us halt greenhouse gas emissions and address huge ecological problems like climate change. notes Marco Barotti.
The film invites the audience to discover the potential of moss as an aesthetic medium