A collaboration with Andrew Fagg

“Bions are transitional forms between non-living and living matter. The bion is the elemental functioning unit of all living matter. At the same time, it is the bearer of a quantum of orgone energy and, as such, functions in a specifically biological way.”
-The Cancer Biopathy, Wilhelm Reich (1897-1957)

“Bion” is an interactive installation that explores the relationship between humans and artificial life. “Bion” makes reference to an individual element of primordial biological energy identified as orgone by the scientist Wilhelm Reich. The installation is composed of hundreds of mass-produced, 3-dimensional glowing and chirping sculptural forms. Each bion, measuring approximately 4x3x2 ½ inches is an synthetic “life-form” fitted with an audio speaker, blue lights (LED’s), and multiple sensors. The bions are suspended by fine gage wire connected to panels that are attached to the ceiling. When installed the panels form clusters of bions arranged at different elevations. Each bion has the ability to communicate with the others and with viewers that enter the space.

When a viewer approaches the installation space she will witness a dynamic array of blips of sound and blue light emanating in cloud like patterns from all parts of the room. She notices that the source of the light and sound come from hundreds of small organic shaped forms called bions. The bions are communicating, unaware of the approaching visitor. She enters the room. One of the bions is alerted to the presence of a stranger and quickly communicates the information to the swarm of bions . One by one, in rapid succession, bions signal other bions of the stranger and in a wave like pattern become silent. The bions eventually become accustomed to her presence and begin to respond to her as if she was part of their ecosystem. They become attracted to her and glow more intensely when she nears. Eventually, she is incorporated into the dynamic array she once witnessed.

Bion (sensor networks and technical information)