One beat, one tree 2012
interactive digital installation
Courtesy the artist’s estate
Presentation at the 23rd Biennale of Sydney (2022) was made possible with generous support from Penelope Seidler AM
The late Belgian artist Naziha Mestaoui used technology to make us aware of the interconnectedness of nature and how every action and decision we make impacts the world at large. Preoccupied with the climate crisis and the plight of Indigenous communities – who, in many cases, bear the brunt of climate change – Mestaoui devised projects where art not only serves as a tool to raise awareness but also has a tangible impact on the real world.
In One beat, one tree the visitor is encouraged to interact with the piece by stepping on a sensor that triggers the ‘planting’ of a digital seed. The sapling grows swiftly, encouraged by the visitor’s movements until it becomes a fully formed tree, which is incorporated in real-time into a digital forest. The protocol of this work states that for each digital tree planted by visitors, the institution presenting the work will engage itself to plant a real tree in return. The trees from this presentation will be planted at sites across Australia at the conclusion of the 23rd Biennale of Sydney.