[ISEA2023] Paper: Harpreet Singh Sareen, Yibo Fu & Yasuaki Kakehi — Ephemera: Bubble Representations as Metaphors for Endangered Species


Short Paper. Theme: Ecosystems – Climate Change Sub theme: Symbiotic Organizations

The effects of a hierarchical relationship of humans with non-humans are now more pronounced than ever. Anthropogenic ecological stressors, including high levels of carbon dioxide, water scarcity, habitat fragmentation have led to disruption of climate systems, in turn endangering many local and global species. ephemera, is an installation formed by nucleation of CO2 bubbles in water, representing animals from all continents and ecologies currently under threat as per the IUCN Red list. These self- assembling bubble pictures are in a homeostasis at the beginning of the installation and shrink each hour to eventually disappear in a few days. The tension between the present endangerment and the urgency of the future action, manifests in the shrinking of these bubbles, invoking unnatural ephemerality due to the human effect. The fauna pictures in this installation, composed of carbon dioxide bubbles, symbolize the transitoriness of now threatened species.

  • Harpreet Sareen (India/USA) is a designer, researcher and artist creating mediated digital interactions through the living world, with growable electronics, organic robots and bionic materials. His work has been shown in museums, featured in media in 30+ countries, published in academic conferences, viewed on social media 5M+ times and used by thousands of people around the world. He has also worked professionally in museums, corporates and international research centers in five countries, is currently an Assistant Professor at Parsons of School Design in New York City and directs the Synthetic Ecosystems Lab that focusses on post-human and non-human design. https://harpreetsareen.com
  • Yibo Fu (China/USA) writes code in cpp, js and python, specializing in embedded system/physical computing and tangible human computer interaction. https://yibo-fu.com
  • Yasuaki Kakehi (Japan) ,Interfaculty Initiative in Information Studies, University of Tokyo, Japan. Visiting Associate Professor MIT Medialab, USA.