Niki Passath (AT)
Making the environment talk

The visual feedback of nature and the environment can mislead to a wrong perception of its wholesomeness. This creates problems of comprehension to the single individual regarding environmental issues.
By watching numbers received by scientific sensor measurements it is very difficult to create an emotional reaction on the technologically observed environment. Emotional reactions towards environmental issues are obligatory to change the mindset of individuals. What could be the language which can be pulled over the environment to create this emotional communication with the surrounding?
With "Atmers", developed during an art residency "Cartographies of Everyday at Sea" at M.A.R.I.N. in Norway, Sweden and Lithuania ( ), I experiment with a first prototype which uses motion and body behavior as "universal" language to transport information on the health-state of the environmental body. The body of the sensor device is inflatable, trying to reproduce the movement of breathing as indicator for changes in the cleanness of water. If the water quality is good, the artificial respiration is calm telling that the environment is not stressed. If the water quality gets worse, the breathing gets stressed, fast and hectic. By translating environmental reactions into human body language (like breathing) the state of the surrounding can be understood unconsciously and self-reflectively.

Niki Passath is a robotic and digital artist engaged in his work with the sculptural conditions of robots and the idea of artificial intelligence and life. 1977, born in Graz, he lives in Vienna, Austria and teaches at the University of Applied Arts Vienna.
Niki Passath studied ‘Violoncello’ and ‘Architecture’ in Graz, Austria and Montpelier, France and made his degree in ‘Digital Art’ in Vienna, Austria.