Monday, June 10, 2013

Life pH

Not long a go someone asked me: "If you are na electric engineer and you're taking up a master degree in contemporary art, haven't you ever thought about joined the two things in some way?" The answer has come in the form of "Life pH": a tree made of cardboard and paper, ornamented with LEDs which luminosity is controled by a Arduino board. The emsemble is powered by a hybrid system consisting on a set of AA batteries together with a electrochemical process based on approximately 80 Kg of lemons.
The LEDs emit a pulsating light that shifts to a continuous mode when the watering can is used to emulate a virtual irrigation of the artificial tree. All the system was planned to the lowest energy consumption possible (LEDs for light and a Arduino Mini, from wich the powering module was subtracted after the upload of the software) simultaneously with the biggest energetic efficiency (80 Kg of lemons equipped with copper and zinc electrodes in paralel with a set of AA batteries).

This work is based on the notion of perversion that is the modification of the priorities of our basic needs: it is the fruits that feed the tree and not the tree that produces the fruits; the tree itself is made out of paper and cardboard, subproducts of the wood and lumber industry, beeing therefore a artificial tree made of other [natural] trees.

This work was elaborate within the discipline of PIA (Project of Artistic Installation) of the Master Degree in Contemporary Artistic Creation of the DeCA (Department of Communication and Art of the University of Aveiro). The work was shown in the final exhibition of the semester called "Expo '12'13", in the Museum of Aveiro [Portugal].
I'd like to thank Prof. Pedro Beça by the help on the software and the energic support of Prof. Mário Vairinhos (link) (both teachers at DeCA) in the final stage that immediately preceded the aperture of the exhibition. I also would like to thank the expressions of astonishment that many of my coleagues gave when they noticed the quantity of lemons that I was working with: it gave me a strong indication that I was in the right path.
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