testing ground for art & ecology
6 October - 24 November 2024


Ivan Henriques

Artist Ivan Henriques presents Ecoshroom, a research project created during his Machine Wilderness residency, organised by Zone2Source with FoAM at ARTIS Royal Zoo in 2022. In Ecoshroom, Ivan Henriques develops a working prototype in which a learning machine examines the microbiome of plants within a self-sustaining system to improve and understand crop production and its communication aspects. The aim is to make invisible processes of nutrient and carbon exchange visible, providing insight into an interactive system between an artificial intelligence, plants, their crops, mycorrhiza and humans. The vision is that could eventually be deployed for home use to promote food production and take shape as a transparent multifunctional wall that brings the outside in.

While working at Microbia during Machine Wilderness, Ivan Henriques met professor Toby Kiers (evolutionary biologist at V.U.) and his research on mycorrhiza, a cohabitation of fungi and plants. For the resulting proposal, he recently received the S+T+ARTS EU grant for Hungry Eco-Cities with which he will develop Ecoshroom over the next year in collaboration with various international knowledge partners.