Bollinger + Grohmann
The Growth of Plants
Photoptosis is a sculpture that explores the medium of light as a material that in itself can grow the same way that plants do. Photoptosis consists of a triangulated, tree-trunk-like stainless steel surface, and onto this a set of side-glowing fiber optics cables has grown like the veins of Ivy on a tree.
The geometries of both the stainless steel surface as well as the fiber optics cables have been developed through computational algorithms that digitally simulate the growth of veins and plants. This venation algorithm simulates the need of plants to reach the sun light or of veins in leaves to supply every cell with nutrients. In doing so, the growth of the branches or the veins slowly expands to cover a large area. For Photoptosis, this algorithm was first utilized to grow the stainless steel structure. Then afterwards the same algorithm was used a second time in order to generate the lighting system that covers the whole surface of the tree. In order to have the intricate branching appear mostly on the front of the tree, its growth was calculated in a non-Euclidean, warped space.
During the day, the lighting system is almost invisible and the stainless steel tree forms a prominent focal point. However, when dawn sets in, the glowing veins slowly start to emerge, until the tree fully disappears into the darkness of night and only the vein structure stands otherworldly in the garden.