Neo Eden—Solar Insects Vivarium consists of bionic insects made from electronic parts, which are powered by the solar cells installed on their tiny wings. Visitors are invited to use flashlights and their hands to create variations of light and shadow, and when light is detected by the wings, these ‘autonomous electronic insects’ begin to sing and twinkle.
Contemporary civilization is becoming increasingly more digitized, and in many ways the artificial manipulation of the natural world has reached a point of no return. The majority of humans are no longer able to act self-sufficiently, and instead most contemporary lifestyles are entirely sustained through technology. In the post-nature era, insects, which have a much longer evolutionary history than mankind, will also be altered by humans. Neo Eden’s colony of electronic insects is a projection of man’s developing control of the environment, and motivates questions as to the safety and ethics of this allegory.
Inspired by this artificial mimicry of nature, Neo Eden, views human civilization as a legitimate yet unnatural development of planetary evolution. Here, studies on the science of ‘artificial life’ are conducted as real and virtual iterations of these bionic creatures are both simulated via the computer, and tangibly created using mechanics. These solar insects thus enable an examination of the way in which living creatures operate and interact, how these adapt to the enigmatic shifts of the natural universe, and what the future of evolution might be.
Artist & Project leader: Chen Chu-Yin
Workshop co-director: L. Mignonneau, Ch. Sommerer, V. Meyrueis, J-C. Hoyami
Solar Insects: IdefiCéaTIC & ATI Master students, Paris 8 University: J. Suarez, F. Guillaud, S. Boudjerda, V. Berra, P. Bishop, L. Barnet, C. Ducarteron, F. Fouquart, S. Jaber, A. Michel, K. Trofimiuk, M. Vernay
And INREV Lab PhD students: L. Perez, G. Xiong, D. Zamplaras, S. Kourkoulakou, I. Teles de Castro, P.Ly, T. Banouchian, S. Khalfallah, L. Perrin, E. Younes
Chu-Yin Chen, born 1962 in Taiwan, lives and works in Paris.