mixed media (aquarium, custom made LED-Displays, operating terminal, water fountain)
Greenhouse converter is an apparatus for algae, water fleas and people.
A cybernetic system, consisting of sensing and lightening RGB-LED, is established in an aquatic ecosystem to foster the convertion of carbon dioxide into oxygen.
Water from a fountain, enriched with atmospheric gases, especially carbon dioxide, is pumped from beneath via an air supply into an aquarium. This feeds an algal culture which, influenced by light, produces biomass and oxygen from the carbon dioxide.
The light is observed in the aquarium as the word “beloved”, in blue, made up from single LEDs which can be individually controlled.
“Beloved” represents an evolutionary model which places an act of positive co-operation ahead of the competitive genetic model of natural selection.
In the greenhouse converter, water fleas react to this word, which appears in blue, they are attracted to it and select the algae adhering to the display as food.
If the water fleas multiply too much and consume all their food supply then the display degenerates, slowly turning red, in order to promote algal growth, or turning yellow, in order to keep the water fleas away and to give the algae space to grow.
Then water from the fountain is also added, so that, with increased carbon dioxide content, plant growth is stimulated.
Over time, the algae grow and grow. They also colonise the word, formed of LEDs, in the water, reducing its legibility.
The status of the display of the word “beloved” serves then as the thermometer of this little ecosystem or rather of its relationship with the greater biosphere which exists outside it.
Ursula Damm has become known for her installations dealing with geometry and its social impact on public space. Since 1995 these installations became interactive, mediating between architectural aspects and the behaviour of passers-by on public places (www.inoutsite.de). Aside she developed numerous installation on the relationship of nature, science and civilization like Venus I-IV (part of the collection of the Ludwig-Museum Koblenz) or double helix swing (honorary mention ars electronica 2006). Ursula Damm has had solo exhibitions at the Goethe House in New York, at NeuerAachenerKunstverein, Aachen and at the Kunstsammlung NRW Düsseldorf, K20, Germany (at the fountain wall).
Currently she works on an interactive installation and setting for a public place at the Metro-Station Schadowstrasse in Düsselodorf/Germany. Since 2008 she holds the chair of Media Environments (Media Arts&Design) at the Media Faculty of the Bauhaus-University Weimar.
(see http://www.ursuladamm.de for further information)