A technology conference is the last place you’d expect to find a piece of nature—and that’s exactly why office technology maker Epson and experiential design studio Second Story created a surreal oasis in the middle of InfoComm.
At the recently concluded convention dedicated to audiovisual tech, attendees could take a respite from the gadgets amid abstract nature photographs at an art installation called Ecoterica. Images of flora and fauna, as well as natural sounds, were distorted by a kaleidoscope-esque effect in the hopes of making people stop and think about what exactly they were looking at.
“In a way, this installation is making a statement about how these images of plants and animals should be very familiar to you, but of course they’re not—they feel familiar, yet somewhat foreign at the same time,” said Joel Krieger, executive creative director at Second Story. “We imagined Ecoterica as a meditative space to help people reflect upon our profound disconnection from nature.”
Commissioned by Epson, maker of printers, scanners and the like, the installation was created to promote its line of projector technology. Second Story used its projectors to make a point about society’s increasing detachment from the world around it.
Krieger said the impetus for the experience stemmed from growing concern around climate change, marine pollution and other problems that stem from the way people treat the environment.
“We fail to understand that we are a part of nature, not separate from it,” he said. “We thought, what better place to make a provocation like this than at a tech event, where visitors are likely to be hyper-connected to their tech and totally detached from the natural world?”
According to Second Story, roughly 2,000 people at InfoComm experienced Ecoterica, and it could potentially be installed at other events down the line.