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Thijs Biersteker

Updated: May 27, 2020

Thijs Biersteker is a Dutch artist who creates what he calls "interactive awareness" works on the most alarming issues, especially around the climate crisis. He combines scientific research and new technologies to make works that interact with the viewer and question the impact of his actions. In his work Voice of Nature, Biersteker shows through a screen the sensation of a tree, how it reacts to the increase of CO2 and what is the relationship with the surrounding environment. He uses sensors to collect data from the tree, which results in digital displays. Another example of a committed work that combines scientific research and new technology is Plastic Reflectic, a work that interacts with the viewer through the movement of the tree. The audience stands in front of a basin full of water, after a few seconds a human figure is formed (comparable to that of the spectator) from Nanoplastics, thus demonstrating our share of responsibility for the pollution of the oceans. However, this same interaction puts the spectator in a position of power since it is through his movement, a metaphor for his actions, that the earth's ecosystem can be saved.

Biersteker joined Italian biologist Stefano Mancuso to make Symbiosis, a foundation garden installation that shows the extent of tree intelligence. Through sensors placed on two of the foundation trees, a screen represents in real-time how these two extraordinary beings relate to the world around them.

Exposition à la Fondation Cartier: Nous les arbres.

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