with Maria Sviridova and Dmitry Kuznetcov

Unity3d, arduino


A forest is a network that unites trees and allows them to exchange important messages with brethren of the same species or close to it. This intricate and extremely complex root system resembles an information line that is similar in many functions to the World Wide Web in human communities and has a colloquial name: the Wood Wide Web. The Amazon rainforests are a single organism, and at the moment they are the largest wooden network on Earth. Due to anthropogenic impact, communication between the trees is disrupted and this leads to the death of the trees. However, in recent experiments, such ecosystems have been found to be surprisingly capable of rapid restoration while maintaining key trees - so called nodes after partial felling.
In the virtual space of the game, the key nodes, the roots, are not interconnected and located in the water of the nominal river of the trees. In Roots, you can restore the root network thanks to your own breathing. The controller, in the form of a mask for the player, is equipped with a carbon dioxide sensor (carbon dioxide is the nutrition for plants). The sensor monitors the intensity of players breath, and when a certain balance of breathing (intense, but not quickened) is reached, the roots of the trees in the game space begin to grow towards the player. When the connection is established, the music sounds louder. If breathing is excessively active or weak, the roots do not grow and the sound becomes quieter. The soundtrack is based on the crackling of branches and underwater recordings.

The game process is a meditative process, where the essential is not the result, but a deeper understanding of the structure of the natural communication process. This is a search for opportunities to redefine the previous distances of biological and technological, artificial and natural.