Once upon a time, little electronic beings left the old mobile devices where they lived and (ssshhh… can you hear? Look, do you see? Oohh, trees have ears and eyes…)

Enchanted Forest is a world “populated” with mysterious trees inhabited by surprisingly repurposed mobile phones components.
In this Enchanted Forest, “walls have ears, and trees have eyes”. Taking part of the possibilities enhanced by mobile devices, the technological limitations are equally rich in aesthetic potential, and advantages derived from low resolutions and lateral thinking processes. As seen (and told), this interactive environment is fertile ground for storytelling, a potential indicted and still to develop, by crossing fantasy and reality, a platform inspired in open models for free creation and open connectedness.

Cameras and microphones hanging on trees are mechanical robots, as live weird eyes and ears in Kusturica's playful and colorful movies like “Black Cat, White Cat” [Kaufman99]. This surreal and delirious approach, as well as the creative robots family [Martins09], are inspirations for unleashing creativity and be open to experiments with devices that light the fuse for the tinkering process.
Mobile Mobile is also an interesting reference for the setup and use od mobile phone components in an interactive installation [Théophane09].




+ info & ongoing research

The visual input is acquired with the mobile phone cameras repurposed as webcams, then the output is displayed on the disassembled screens, while the sound input is captured with microphones, destined for an output with the mentioned mobile devices’ loudspeakers! It’s no longer “wysiwyg” for what you’ll see is not what you get, but “wtsahiwyg”, a weird unpronounceable word from the fantastic world of the Enchanted Forest, standing for “what trees see and hear is what you get”.

The exploration in the concept and in the interaction is multidimensional in time and space, assuming the characteristics of multiple disperse interrelated annotations, as in fantasy magical world.

In the remote place where the video and audio records are presented and enjoyed, whether it’s home by an online user, or in a gallery by exhibition visitors, the (re)constitution of the enchanted forest happens through the audiovisual flickering and other clues that stimulate imagination. Flickering effects with lights for visual suggestion, and echo spatial effects with sound amplification through space, made possible with mobile devices components. These capabilities are augmented by the use of sensors for expressivity and for prevention: temperature, smoke, and wind are some of the possibilities considered. The scintillating magical images, sounds, and other resulting data (such as temperature) of this world of fantasy also work as clues for forest surveillance, as “benign agents – The Good ones” that protect the forests – against “human evil action” of putting fire, for example.

This interactive environment is is also prone to subprojects, lined by the specificities of flora and local cultures: “The Mysterious Oak”, for example, could be an enchanted forest subproject looking forward to Alentejo natural resources preservation.
In the “Enchanted forest” world, foolish experiments combine with ideas of genious, ecology is naturally compatible with technology, real coexists with virtual, art and science are interconnected branches, forests and users are friends.





KAUFMAN, Anthony (1999) INTERVIEW: Momentum and Emotion, Emir Kusturica's "Black Cat, White Cat", interview by indieWIRE (September 9, 1999)

KUSTURICA, Emir, Filmography

MARTINS, Guilherme [2009] Experimental robotics, Robots family members

THÉOPHANE, James [2009], Mobile Mobile
- an interactive installation

Further references to explore »


This concept is being adopted as part of a proposal in the scope of European tales for further development within AZ Labs »