Zoomorphic: wearable bio-machine

Fruit flies, cameras, head mounted display, custom electronics and software.


Collaboration with Ayodamola Okunseinde

Zoomorphism is the process of ascribing to a person, or event the characteristics and descriptions that are animalistic in nature. Global warming, pollution, species extinction, ecological calamity... taken individually these problems are troubling, combined, they constitute an existential crisis that leads to an unsustainable environment: a world as alien to us as the terrain of Mars. Zoomorphic posits such a future world where biology is unsustainable without the aid of technology. Furthermore, ecological balance is only be achieved through the incorporation of non-human entities within a personal bio-dome. The wearer and the enclosed organisms thus form a symbiotic relationship, providing each other with the essentials for surviving our apocalyptic future.

ZOOMORPHIC is a critical expression and exploration of sustainability for a future “alien world”. It fuses modular wearable technology, bioart, insects, and physical computing to produce homeostatic systems that interact with both the wearer and environment. The project seeks to call attention to symbiotic relationships between humans and other organisms, sustainability, and the future metamorphoses of technology, ecology, and humanity.

The wearable bio-machine augments the visual perception of the user through a permanent dialog established between this, the insects and the machine itself.  Wearable computers are programmed, using computer vision, to count and track the activity of the flies inside the suit. The dynamics of the population of insects is then translated into variables that determine the position of a system of cameras mounted on servo-motors on the head of the wearer. The result is a mediation of the visual perception of the user; an enhanced vision; an embodiment of the fly itself.

Zoomorphic at SXSW, Houston, TX