Garden of Evolution / 2016

Site specific Interactive outdoor installation in Dundee Botanic Gardens.

The Garden of Evolution’ is an outdoor interactive installation that engages the audience in an experience. The work borrows it’s title from the area in which it is placed, where the evolution of land plants can be traced back over 500 million years. This natural environment functions as the tabula rasa in order to discuss the role of technology in the evolution of man. The piece looks at the relationships we develop with our mobile devices as everyday users but also as spectators of art. It deals with the way digital technologies change our perception, enhance and displace our senses and re-shape our interactions and communications as we become increasingly more dependent on them.

The viewers enter a conversation with their surroundings as well as the artist by scanning the QR codes found within the paths of the Garden. The sounds and voice messages accompany them during their walk. Bringing their phones close to their ear refers to the original function of the telephone before the invention of the smartphone. It is a process of exploration calling the visitors to decode the hidden messages. The QR codes work as connectors between the physical and the digital worlds, augmenting reality and bringing an additional layer to the life to the Garden.

Pictures by Ross F. McLean