The surface of a pinus nigra pine tree consists of hundreds of layers of bark, grown and merged together in a special, irregular formation. Even though the presence of the bark is continuous, eventually the oldest, outer parts fall down as they are getting pushed out by the new layers. This transformation is an ongoing, never ending process, but the viewer usually can not understand the striking changes that the plant’s skin goes through – we perceive it as a constant state.
In this project I used analogue methods combined with digital techniques: Coding as a tool helped me to get a closer understanding of the variety and complexity of this surface. The collected bark pieces were photographed and arranged in an archive, which functions as a source of my code – and eventually became part of the artwork. The program randomly combines two images of the archive with reduced opacity and applied edge detection, resulting in a monochrome image only with the lines of the current combination.
On display I installed these results in an analogue form, printed on A5 sheets. The other part of the installation was interactive: Using a similar code and a webcamera placed above, I invited the visitors to play around with the actual bark pieces and create their own unique pattern designs. The code was running constantly: While the webcamera captured the surface, the code created the digital translation live. A never ending circle of change.
Dr. Prof. Zane Berzina
Dipl.-Des. Elisabeth Oestringer