The echo::system installation looks at the geographic, historical and cultural conditions of the U.S. southwestern region with a dynamic, simulated walk through the landscape on “smart” treadmills. The work investigates links between large issues of socio-ecological complexity and direct embodied experience: emphasizing the importance of a self-direction, aesthetics and physical investment. Our refitted treadmill is an interactive interface that encourages a kinetic sense of navigation through abstract knowledge. This affords the user a physical, highly embodied experience to reconnect complex ecological data sets with cultural narratives. By involving the intention of the whole body in a motor-sensory experience, this work looks to create new scenarios for comprehension and contemplation of the environment.

2014 version of the treadmill interface (credit/ Boyd Branch)

3d Render of the performance space

Treadmill interface which allows anyone to take a virtual walk between desert and urban spaces