Amatria

Luddy School of Informatics, Computing, and Engineering

Bloomington, US  2018

Amatria is a permanent sculpture offering a delicate quilt-like overhead canopy composed of hundreds of thousands of custom-made transparent components, creating a powerfully evocative presence drawing from interdisciplinary research and technological innovation. Amatria evokes the core theme of abiogenesis, the emergence of life occurring at the beginning of the universe. Soaring clouds and tangled thickets of 3D-printed formations are embedded with artificial intelligence that produces waves of constantly-changing sound, whispering and calling in response to the movements of viewers. Hovering, lightweight meshes create delicate canopies filled with quivering, pulsing mechanisms above and around this artificial forest. Densely massed spheres emulating the hollow bones of birds and mammals are lined with bubbling prototype cells filled with self-renewing chemistry. Amatria includes core contributions led by Amsterdam-based 4DSOUND, University of Waterloo Psychology Professor, Colin Ellard, Monash University Electrical & Computer Systems Engineering Professor, Dana Kulić, and Indiana University Distinguished Information Science and Computing Professor, Katy Börner. By merging lighting and motion sensors with atmospheric sounds, a “living” sculpture breathes, undulates and shifts in response to the movements of visitors.

The experimental research foregrounding this permanent testbed sculpture asks: what if buildings could know us, talk to us and even care about us? Indiana University students and faculty designed custom data visualizations mapping Amatria’s sensor and actuator types, their positions, communication flows and complex behaviors unfolding over time.