©Ivan Henriques
Photo: Lyndsey Housden

18th Art Division New Face Award

Symbiotic Machine

Hybrid art

Ivan HENRIQUES [Brazil]


Symbiotic Machine is an autonomous photosynthetic bio-machine that harvests energy from photosynthetic organisms, applying this energy to movement that enables it to continue collecting photosynthetic organisms. This bio-solar machine creates a symbiotic system in the environment in which it is located, detecting, collecting, carrying and processing these organisms autonomously, and then amplifying the energy obtained from them using a floating mobile robotic structure. These microorganisms, found in ponds, canals, rivers and the sea, are a potential source of energy for the Symbiotic Machine. The environments in which it is placed can also be cleaned, in cases where harmful algae are present. This project proposes new ways of establishing relationships between humans and nature by a crossover between the disciplines of art, design, and biotechnology.

Reason for Award

The idea of a machine living in harmony with an ecosystem or, in other words, the idea of a mechanism that bears within itself another ecosystem, is reminiscent of the first appearance of photography. Photography is a form of technology by which the subject is drawn or inscribed (graphīa) through a technique using the nature of light (phós), intended to simulate the eyes and brain. It can be said that it is a medium bridging culture and nature. This symbiotic machine is still at the trial stage but, while being suspended between science and art, I have great expectations for what developments it will show us in the future. (SATOW Morihiro)