The tree functions as a 3-dimensional canvas. Each leaf houses seven led’s. The 175.000 led’s in total are programmed to interact with the crowd. The piece was conceived and created by Zachary Smith, while co-lead artist Alexander Green and Symmetry Labs lead production and mapping. Co-lead artist Mark C. Slee lead the creation of open-source animation software and content for the tree, which features more than 30 distinct interactive lighting routines. Co-creator Patrick Deegan managed sensor interactivity and technical community. Studio Drift was asked to join the team to create content for the light patterns and programming, using the Flylight developed in 2007, which contains an algorithm that mimics a swarm of birds and reacts to its environment. The Tree of Ténéré is programmed with three “light flocks” flying through the leafs. Each flock is controlled by three people wearing muse headsets. Their movements, heart beats and brain activity is measured and translated into the light swarms. Once the people sync their movements, the individual flocks merge into one large swarm of light.
Tree of Ténéré , Burning Man, Black Rock Desert, USA
Design concept: Zachary Smith
Lead production and mapping: Alexander Green (co-lead artist) and Symmetry Labs
Open-source animation: Mark C. Slee (co-lead artist)
Sensor interactivity: Patrick Deegan
Design Collaboration: Studio Drift