GROW (detail), mungbeans and alfalfa germinating in 4D. A still image from a 6 min single channel projection. Credits: Australian National University Department of Applied Mathematics, and Drishti, VizLab, ANU Supercomputer Facility, NCI, National Computational Infrastructure.
In this work I have captured the phenomena of seeds coming into life over a four-day germination period. The exquisite, translucent quality is created with the science of Dynamic 3D Microcomputed X-ray Tomography, or 4D Micro-CT. This is a virtual time-lapse dataset of the real-life event; not created by conventional mesh-frame computer generated imagery. Magnified through a stereoscopic projection of light, GROWprovides the viewer with a unique, immersive experience of observing a life-system at a level not usually detected by the human eye. More than just an illusionary spectacle, for me, this work celebrates the power of scientific vision and technology, allowing us to discover the wonder of this microscopic world.
Because of human industry, our planet is now experiencing the sixth mass extinction of plants and animals species. We are living in a time when, as a global society, we need to be more connected to our natural environments yet we increasingly rely on techno-science to experience it.
Erica Seccombe is currently undertaking a PhD at the Australian National University (ANU) School of Art, Canberra. Her practice-led research GROW: experiencing nature in the fifth dimension investigates the aesthetic possibilities of 4D Microcomputed X-ray Tomography in combination with a custom designed scientific visualisation tool called Drishti.
GROW is facilitated by the ANU Department of Applied Mathematics and VizLab, NCI, and was initially funded by an ANAT 2011 Synapse residency grant. This year Erica won the inaugural 2015 Paramor: art + innovation prize at the Casula Powerhouse Art Center NSW, and travelled to London to work at the Natural History Museum supported by artsACT.