The Dancing Forest

Video Artist: Dmitry Bulatov
Country: Year: , , Duration: 0 min 0 sec


‘The Dancing Forest’ project is the study of the relationship between two types of non-human agents. The first agent is a section of coniferous forest located 37 km into the Curonian Spit National Park (Kaliningrad Region, Russia). The peculiarity of this area is its inclined and curved trunks of pine trees growing there. Trees of such shape are not found everywhere in the park, but only in a specific part of it. One of the possible reasons for this anomaly experts call the particular features of local geomagnetic fields. These magnetic forces of the Earth embody the second participant of the imaginary metaphysical dance.

Within the framework of our research, we created a map of the geomagnetic activity of this area of the National park. For the survey we used fluxgate magnetometers, which allow for non-penetrating measurement of the magnetic field. We used the results of this survey to create a three-dimensional map and made a mock-up of the Dancing Forest geomagnetic activity using a 3D printer. This mock-up and the distribution of the field by the heights of the survey shows how the magnetic field changes in this section of the park.

We also made portable devices that are attached to the trees of the Dancing Forest. They form a single intelligent system with an autonomous real-time data transmission module. This system has biopotential analyzers, various detectors and environmental sensors. Devices of this type can be used to measure the electrophysiology of trees, as well as to analyze the reaction of biological objects to the influence of geomagnetic fields. The information received from the sensors of the system is sent to the screen and its properties are determined by changes in the electrical activity of the trees and indicators of the Earth’s magnetic field. The Dancing Forest project is an interaction of data streams, which, in addition to the non-human entities themselves, also reflect the relations that exist between them.

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Dmitry Bulatov

Dmitry Bulatov (1968) is an artist and art theorist. His research focuses on different aspects of Art&Science, as well as on submediality aesthetics. He is the author of many books and anthologies, including BioMediale. Contemporary Society and Genomic Culture (Kaliningrad, 2004), Evolution Haute Couture: Art and Science in the Post-Biological Age (1 vol., 2009; 2 vol., 2013). His artworks have been presented internationally, including Victory over the Sun (Moscow, 2007), Technology Expanding the Horizon (Columbus, 2007), Senses Alert (Berlin, 2008), Corpus Extremus (Life+) (New York, 2009), Russian Utopias (Moscow, 2010), Life. Version of Science (Moscow, 2011), Russia Next Door (Olsztyn, 2012), Enclave (Warsaw, 2013), Hall of Fame: The Telepresent Animal (Salem, MA, 2014), Limits of Human (Moscow, 2015), Earth Lab (Ars Electronica, Moscow, 2016), 1st Triennial of Contemporary Art (Moscow, 2017) and others. In 2007 his artwork has been selected by Wired magazine as the world’s 10 top innovations. He is a two-time winner of the National Innovation Award for contemporary arts (Russia, 2008 and 2013). Since 1998 Dmitry Bulatov has curated more than twenty major exhibitions in Russia and abroad, devoted to Art&Science and new media art.