‘Feed: interactive installation to show how life is fed by media


According to Pier Luigi Capucci, nowadays the relationship between arts and life follows two different paths. The first and more ancient is deep-rooted in the organic matter and is inspired by scientific disciplines: biology, biotechnology and genetic. The second path, more recent, comes from different approaches: artificial life and robotics. The essential difference between the two (apart from tools, approaches and technologies in use) is that in the first path life is presented as it is, while in the second it is represented, i.e. simulated. Shane Cooper’s installation ‘Feed’, recently displayed at Museum of Contemporary Art Taipei’s Zone_V2_ Unstable Media, combines the two paths. The work is composed of two halves. The upper half is a video wall of television screens, each tuned to a different channel and playing at low volume. The lower half is a garden of ferns that can survive under conditions of extreme lighting. The television screens provide the light to the plants, which grow towards them in a constricted space, eventually colliding. People interact with the installation because the garden survives thanks to the people presence as infrared cameras convert images of visitors into light. Cooper presents life as it is through growing ferns but also applies the biological network to social network, which is deeply influenced by technological civilization. ‘Feed’ sums up the relationship between new media and human beings poking fun at people who spend their days laying in front of television, fed by TV meals and news, believing that the tv screen is the only source of knowledge and entertainment.

Valentina Culatti