Philip Beesley: Hylozoic Soil

  • ©2009, Philip Beesley

  • ©2009, Philip Beesley

  • ©2009, Philip Beesley



    Hylozoic Soil


Creation Year:



    micro-controllers, proximity sensors and shape-memory alloy actuators


Artist Statement:

    Hylozoic Soil is a visually arresting and complex installation. Quivering to life as viewers enter into its midst, this beguiling piece is made up of a network of micro-controllers, proximity sensors and shape-memory alloy actuators. Hylozoic Soil offers layers of intriguing individual and group behaviors. Building upon simple motions embedded within individual elements, turbu-lent wave-like reactions are produced. Using its tendrils, fronds and bladders to lure visitors into its seemingly fragile web of laser-cut acrylic matrices, this work blurs the distinctions between organism and environment. Inspired by the physical behaviors and mechanisms of coral reefs, this artificial assembly evokes natural forces to simulate life. As the title suggests, matter and life are deemed inseparable in this work, which plays on the botanical and philosophical implica-tions of rhizomatic structures. Operating at the intersections of architecture, design, electronics, engineering, informatics and art, Hylozoic Soil is a visceral experience exploring the nuanced relationship between the biological and the artificial.

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