climate machine and hanging paper

An exhibition that generates clues of the climate and history of our forests in the UK and Brazil

As you enter the gallery a large screen shows trees from Brazil and the UK in conversation. The screen flickers and glows with a dynamic 3D visualisation of changes in temperature, humidity, light, decibels, colour and CO2 collected from trees in both forests in the UK and Brazil.

Hanging from the ceiling is a full set of global C02 data scorched into circular sheets of 100% recycled paper, created by the artists during the residency.  Each sheet shows a year of changes in C02 levels in the earth’s atmosphere as a scorched ring. The prints will show a steady annual increase recorded over the last 53 years since scientific records began*.


A box is attached to a branch of a tree in Haldon Forest and the Atlantic Forest (Mata Altantica) on the edge of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.  Inside the box are sensors that sense levels of temperature, humidity, C02, light, colour and sound levels recorded around the trees in both forests, which is sent live to the gallery via the internet.


Large screens show the trees from Brazil and the UK in conversation… dynamic projections show the light, colours and the changes in climate sent from the sensors in each tree.


Visitors will be able to borrow a mobile phone to take out into the forest.  The phone application will guide them into the woods, asking people to act as human sensors and take control of the way the forest is captured, visualised and sensed as they explore.  Visitors will be able to view their journeys and the data they collected here when the project goes live.

Artists Residency

Active Ingredient will be in residence in the forests with their ‘climate machine’, that scorches levels of C02 in the earth’s atmosphere into recycled paper to create a unique set of art prints, reminiscent of tree rings.  They will generate a series of these heat drawings live in the gallery space.
During the residency there will be a range of ways that the public can get involved and collect their own sensory data in the woods. The artists will lead woodland walks and give visitors chance to use the mobile sensor technology.


the climate machine drawing C02 data into paper using heat

How the exhibition works

In the centre of the gallery will be an interactive sculpture, a circular machine that draws the global climate C02 levels from the last 70 years by scorching rings into a stack of circular sheets of recycled paper, stacked 1m high.  A soldering iron is connected to a computer and controlled by the C02 data. Each sheet of paper will show a ring created by annual global climate C02 levels. We will work backwards from April 2011 levels and draw as many years per day as we can throughout the 2 weeks (the data goes back to 1958).

Each sheet will show monthly, seasonal and yearly changes in C02 through the shape of each ring and will the steady annual increase that has occurred over the last 50-70 years.  At the end of each rotation the sheet will be taken off the machine by the invigilator, stamped (embossed) with the date and stacked on the floor next to the machine. Each rotation of the paper will take approx 1 hour. We estimate at the end of each residency there will be 100 sheets of paper (representing 100 years of C02 data). The rings are likely to appear as ellipses and each sheet of paper is likely to have a larger ring on it as the C02 has steadly increased over this time, generating unique art prints with the scorched C02 data in them by the end of the 2 weeks exhibition.

The data is collected using environmental sensors. The sensors connect to an application on an Android phone via Bluetooth, the phone also takes a photograph using the built-in camera. The phone camera is positioned to look up at the tree canopy and the sky. Through the phone app the temperature, humidity, decibels, C02, light and colour levels around the tree are sent via the internet on the phone to an online database once a minute. This data is then pulled into a visual interface designed by the artists, where the photographic image (light and colour) is visualised in a 3D abstracted form that extracts the light and colour from each pixel of the image. his abstraction rotates and dynamically responds to changes in the environmental, climate data around the tree as it receives it, live in the gallery. This will be projected on the walls of the gallery.

The mobile phone application is a way to view the live data from the forest, that visitors will be able to take out into the forest with them. The camera in the phone takes a photo every 20 secs, so people can look around the park and see the trees become distorted by the data we are collecting (the invisible changes in the forest).  This will work on some Android phones and IPhone.


Visualização da temperatura, umidade, decibéis, pressão atmosférica, dados de luz e cores, das árvores na Floresta de Sherwood, no Reino Unido e da Mata Atlântica, no Brasil

Estaremos transmitindo ao vivo a partir de nossas experiências no Rio de Janeiro … verifique as próximas informações ao vivo novamente.

Estamos recolhendo e interpretando dados utilizando sensores ambientais, incluindo temperatura, CO2 e umidade, juntamente com imagens de satélites de observação da Terra.

soldering iron scorching C02 data as rings into recycled paper


*Trends in Carbon Dioxide measured at Mauna Loa Observatory, Hawaii, 1958 – 2011