PIXI – The Digital, Forest-Haunting Organism Created by WERC

The artist collective WERC based in Groningen, The Netherlands, has a captivating back story about what can happen if technology and nature create a symbiosis close to perfection.

The group is a network of multiple teams specialized in different areas, combining new media and techniques in a series of constant experimental phases. According to WERC’s statement, close to the project is the “connection that bridges the digital and the physical world, visible in almost all their work”. The group includes Joachim Rümke, Olav Huizer, Joachim de Vries, and Jelle Valk.

Joachim told us about a recent project WERC’s been working on lately. It’s called PIXI –  A Digital Organism. “Recently we created a light installation that I would like to share with you. We call it a digital organism. An organism we set loose in the forest”, said Rümke.

The outstanding outdoor visual installation was inspired by natural patterns, such as flocks of birds. Only instead of birds, imagine a new micro-creature – a digital one. That’s a Pixi, according to the visionary collective. “Pixies make their own choices, but they are also influenced by environmental factors from nature. Each Pixi contains a pulsating light.

“However, when we step back and look at them from a distance, the connections in the flock become clear and visible. A group intelligence arises that is greater than the sum of its parts”. It’s almost too beautiful to comprehend it. The idea of cold, technical nano-machines simulating the complex natural eco-system almost overflows my imagination.

WERC really put effort in creating this mythology, this set of Pixie behaviors and patterns, and as such, your primary instinct is believing Pixies are actually real. Well, I guess they are.

But enough of this nonsense talking. If you really wanna feel the sweet relationship between biology and technology, you should check the video above.

A project by WERC Collective

All photo credits: Sander van der Bij, Knelis

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This article was originally published in Cultartes Magazine #4 – “Dreams and Nightmares”. Get your copy in print here.

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Romanian self-taught writer, based in Cyprus, interested in contemporary art, unconventional culture and gonzo journalism. Writing for almost a decade, he is agnostic, supports a censorship-free society and reads way less than he wants.

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