When I was participating the “Field_Notes – Cultivating Grounds” in September 2011 , I was accompagnied by one of my touristic robots. During the stay, we went on walks and enjoyed the nature and the surrounding environement.
The first walk was together with the “Body Nature” group, hosted by Marta de Menezes. We passed by a creek and a waterfall which had a unique sound.
Later in the week me and my robot went alone on the side of the nearby hill, watching the beautiful lake and enjoying the northern sunlight and the bright sky. I remember the last day of our stay when we were joined by local friends who performed a song telling the history of this lake and its surrounding landscape.
Marta showed us the incredible forms of moss and lichen during a workshop and I immediately fell in love with the phenomenal variety and amount of moss and lichens in that area.
So I experimented with it and took a lot of samples. When we went back home, we both took some of the samples with us, me in small flasks and my robot with traces of moss and lichens on its body.
Back home I tried to cultivate the moss and lichen samples on some bricks to be able to enjoy their beauty also when I am at home. In the meantime the robot stayed in a corner, waiting for another travel.
Suddenly I realized that the structure and the surface of the robot had changed. It seemed that there is something growing on it. Can it be that it has been infected with nature?
For me it had the impression that a big amount of different fungi and maybe bacteria using the robot as their habitat.
I was quite curious about this and wanted to know more. So I started to build a Incubator system which also gives nutrients to the biomass on the robot. Now I wanted to improve the growth. I also added a lamp to simulate sunlight.
Now it was possible to observe the robot and observe the infection and their increase. I took a magnifier to be able to study the details because the organisms are so small.
After some weeks of patience, observations, care-taking and optimizing the life support system, suddenly first traces of moss and lichens started to emerge. It is wonderful to see the small stars of this species of moss.
Almost the whole body is overgrown. It seems that the fungi changed to moss an lichen. The robot embodied the colors of the sub-arctic through living organisms. I wonder when the robotic part of this symbiont will disappear and only the living part can be seen.