As part of a system of numerous dynamic connections and networks, we are reactive and deterministic to a complex system of cause and effect. The consequence of our actions upon our selves, the society we live in and the broader natural world is conditioned by how we perceive our involvement. The awareness of how we have impacted on a situation is often realised and processed subconsciously, the extent and scope of these actions can be far beyond our knowledge, our consideration, and importantly beyond our sensory reception. With this in mind, how can we associate our actions, many of which may be overlooked as customary, with for instance, the honey bee depopulation syndrome or the declining numbers of Siberian Tigers.

Responsive Ecologies is part of an ongoing collaboration with ZSL London Zoo and Musion Academy. Collectively we have been exploring innovative means of public engagement, to generate an awareness and understanding of nature and the effects of climate change. All of the contained footage has come from filming sessions within the Zoological Society; this coincidentally has raised some interesting questions on the spectacle of captivity, a issue which we have tried to reflect upon in the construction and presentation of this installation. The nature of interaction within Responsive Ecologies means that a visitor to the space can not simply view the installation but must become a part of its environment. When attempting to perceive the content within the space the visitor reshapes the installation. Everybody has a degree of impact whether directed or incidental, and when interacting as a group it is interesting to see how collective behaviour can develop and incite the outcome of the work.

captincaptin and Parag K Mital exhibited Responsive Ecologies at the Watermans between 6th December 2010 and the 21st January 2011. The installation was in the form of a 360 degrees multi-screened projection or CAVE (Cave Automatic Virtual Environment). Visitors to the exhibition would enter the CAVE through a passageway leading from the gallery entrance. All four sides of the CAVE were back projected with each side connecting to form a large continuous projection. The presence of people within the space would be tracked and used to deconstruct and interlace the video in response to their movement. The video documentation below was taken from the installation (throughout this video the camera is panning around the space in order to record all sides of the CAVE).

Responsive Ecologies from pkmital on Vimeo.

Source code is also available with an example part of the actual installation (10 second clip as the whole video is far too long) – though you may also need 4 monitors/projectors or scale down the size of the screen in the code (SCREEN_WIDTH and SCREEN_HEIGHT variables in testApp.h):

More information: