Neo-Metabolism is an interactive Installation allowing audiences to experience a speculative carbon responsible future through symbiosis lifestyle. According to research, humanity is far away from a sustainable life, even with full implementation of the Paris Climate Agreement proposals by 2100. This project imagines that due to the crisis of global warming in 2045, carbon sustainability has become a value system and individuals pay every gram of carbon dioxide they emit, including transportation, food, and even breathing. However, some people find another way-out by embracing a symbiotic lifestyle to offset carbon dioxide through photosynthesis to contribute to reverse global warming, with the help of their symbiosis partners -  Algae Ruff and Moss Beard.

The experience starts with “transplanting” one of the future symbiosis partners - Algae Ruff and Moss Beard. Entering the interactive moss garden, audiences find themselves photosynthesizing and absorbing carbon dioxide, which is visualized by projection mapping. After finishing a cycle of photosynthesis, audiences will be rewarded with a carbon credit that can be traded for a tube of Spirulina smoothie, which is speculated to be a trendy food in the near future.

Algae Ruff, a fashionable carbon offset tool designed for ladies, incubate genetically altered algae that absorb CO2 efficiently and release fresh O2 for wearers to breathe. Meanwhile, gentlemen cultivate Moss Beards to offset personal carbon footprints which have become a fashion trend. In addition, wearers can harvest the organisms as main daily nutrition.

The interactive installation and the multi-sensorial artifacts enable audiences to immerse and engage with the imagined future world and its value system through presence, touch, wear, and taste. The experience brings a possible future in front of audiences and intends to inspire audiences to think beyond their current relationship with the environment, to trigger conversations and reflections about today’s lifestyle. Environmental challenges require more action rather than awareness. Therefore, Post-metabolic is not only meant to critique the present irresponsible mentality but also aims to propose a possible solution for people to better prepare for the future both mentally and physically.

Collaborator: Shihan Zhang

Exhibited at Gray Area Art and Technology Foundation | San Francisco, 2019