Cypress Trees, A Beginning

2020 — 2021 AI, Data, Loss, Politics

This project is a collaboration with Anna Riddler; as we both have family ties to the deep South in the U.S., and have begun working on a longer research project into that geographical area as a part of our Ars Electronica AI Lab residency. As part of that project, we have created a special dataset of the Bald Cypress, a type of tree found on the Gulf Coast of the U.S. These trees are able to live for thousands of years, but at present are threatened by climate change. Our crucial role in stopping coastal erosion in the area lies in question, moreso with the surge in hurricanes happening every year.  We have used this dataset to train a GAN to reflect on what these areas might be like in the future, with and without the trees. The GIF is generated with this model and is controlled by some of the weather data generated by the most recent hurricane in the area, Hurricane Ida. This project was turned into an NFT for the Feral Files’ “Reflections in the Water” show where we donated all proceeds, about $8,000, to a New Orleans mutual aid group, Imagine Water Works, for Hurricane Ida relief.

In December 2021, we created a special video projection for the (un)Holy Light art show, curated by Juliette Bibasse. This project was projected onto the exterior of the Museum M in Leuven, Belgium.

This project has been installed at Ars Electronica, the Front Gallery, (un)Holy Light, Feral Files and Art Bomb Festival.