Data Garden is a new type of data infrastructure that promotes unification between people, ecosystems and technology. The installation features plants encoded with data. The encoding process involves converting digital data such as text, JPEGs and MP3s into a biological format, DNA, using ACGT rather than binary.
Within the installation, the plants’ DNA is decoded in real time using the latest genetic sequencing technologies, and displayed in space, revealing hidden messages.
Working with nature to alleviate the threat of ‘data warming‘, the Data Garden invites visitors to experience a new materiality around data, and explore a world in which data storage is truly green, and exists as an accessible public resource that is shareable within communities.
The Data Garden is a constructed organism that combines not only biological and technological elements, but produces an immersive, constantly changing environment, in which humans and nonhumans learn, evolve and grow. This type of plant-based data centres allow organisms of various types to flourish, marrying principles of working with nature and data, to create a self-sufficient plant-data ecosystem.
In the Data Garden, data stored within the plants’ DNA can be decoded using the latest genetic sequencing technologies.
This process is triggered by introducing a liquid sample to a nanopore sequencer, which analyses the genetic information to reveal hidden messages, sounds and images to be experienced in the space.
The installation has a real-time data update that reflects its absorption of CO2 levels.
The installation is accompanied by a series of posters that explain the process and research behind the Data Garden.