Explorations of Digital Material Ecology

Explorations of digital material ecology is a large-scale projection artwork showcasing a real-time virtual sculpture responsive to water surface data collected from a nearby river. The data is acquired through a physical sculpture equipped with sensors that measure subtle and poetic movements, often imperceptible to the naked eye.

This collected water surface data serves as input for a generative material library, locally sourced and created on-site. The technology employed includes Visual Material Dataset, Unreal Engine 5, Touchdesigner, micro-controllers, and server infrastructure.

Recognizing our role as just a small part of a broader digital and natural world-building process, Studio Above&Below priorities placing ‘nature and computation’ at the forefront of the digital realm, rather than centring design solely around humans. The outcome is a library of generative forms that operate beyond our control, guided by code and the ecosystem.

In doing so, Studio Above and Below seeks to decentralize the creation of digital worlds, contributing to a deeper understanding of our role in the evolving landscape of digital material ecologies. This approach encourages coexistence in digital spaces, bridging science, arts, and culture for a more holistic future.


New Now Festival
Zeche Zollverein


Custom Sculpture & Sensors
Unreal Engine


Concept: Studio Above&Below
technical development: Studio Above&Below
Design: Studio Above&Below
Rigging: Blue Wheels
DOP: Ravi Sejk