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Hylozoic Soil
VIDA, Madrid 2009 - first prize
Walls. Some provide structural support and separate the kitchen from the dining room. Others suckle your scalp to extract your bodily fluids for sustenance. Hylozoic Soil, an 8,000-cubic-foot thicket of acrylic, latex, and metal that trembles, grasps, and snaps at people who pass through it. Using italian Arduino platform, it's system of infrared proximity sensors, microcontrollers, strands of titanium nickel memory wire, and custom circuit boards helps Hylozoic Soil zero in on victims: Hundreds of frondlike fingers made of serrated Mylar, acetate, and polycarbonate reach out to greet you, as dense colonies of whiskers wave excitedly overhead. But don't get too close: Needles attached to tiny latex bladders are poised to pierce your skin, and collector barbs grab hair and clothing. See videos on http://www.philipbeesleyarchitect.com/sculptures/0635hylozoic_soil/hylozoic_vid_01.html