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Loci

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Author VALab

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Can we feel the connection with the nature at a distance, feel by our skin? The Loci project is a tactile landscape and spatial-temporal connections with other species in real time. The object consists of a lighting installation situated in a field, forest, or city park, and several wearable devices associated with it. Solar-powered light field devices register the movement of small animals and large insects, react to them with light and send signals about their activity to the computer (or smartphone), which can be located at any distance from the installation. The computer controls several wearable devices. They consist of a battery, vibration sensors, and a microcontroller and must be located on the most sensitive human body areas (of chest, legs, arms, or neck). They inform the owner about any movement of living creatures on the selected landscape with a vibration signal in real-time. "Loci" is a communication system that establishes a connection between a human and a landscape, or rather, its spatial and temporal characteristics, expressed in the behavior of living inhabitants (biocenosis) of a certain physical space (biotope). The project combines several ideas. 1. A new type of a "landscape", which has a tactile and temporal expression. 2. The idea of «this place», reflected in the investigation of north peoples’ culture (Karelians, Vepsians, Finns). “This place” is a locus that has semantic meaning. It is both a geographical space and a temporal one. “This place” does not have a permanent location and can be found anywhere and at any time. The meeting is accompanied by unnatural observer sensations, such as temperature or wind changes, the absence of sounds and smells, or their transformation, sometimes with "otherworldly" visions. "This place" is another world that divides the observer's life into "before" meeting with it and "after", changing his or her perception of reality. 3. The Loci Project enables a new tactile experience aimed at establishing a connection with the living inhabitants of the landscape. A person has an opportunity to be in a contact with the landscape as well as through this connection to overcome the fear of contact with small animals (rodents, hedgehogs, snakes, etc.) and insects.

Bio

VALab is a creative association of conceptual artists, engineers, and programmers. Their
projects are focused on communication and interspecies connections. Members of the lab team
are participants of art and science exhibitions and festivals including “The New Anthropology”,
Pavlov Institute of Physiology, Russian Academy of Sciences, Koltushi; ISEA 2019 in Kwangju;
Science-Art Fest in Perm (2019); exhibition of Science Art center “SIRIUS” in Sochi (since
2016); exhibition of Polytechnic Museum in Moscow (since 2014); Science-Art Fest in Moscow
(2011); etc. VALAb's work is a part of the long list of the Kuryokhin Prize as a Science-Art
project (2020).