Butterfly }Pieris{ Effect

Realities of ecosystems on our planet seen through insect data sets.

The art-sci project “Butterfly }Pieris{ Effect” aims to increase awareness of us humans for the importance of other creatures in our ecosystem. The majority of people have a very anthropocentric world view. However, it should not be forgotten that human beings cannot survive without the many other living beings, no matter how small and seemingly insignificant they may be. The installation presents a soundscape with snippets of expert comments on the topic of ecosystems and butterflies. The model organism for this project is often seen as a "crop pest" - nevertheless there are no "weeds" or "pests" in a functioning ecosystem. Therefore, we deliberately choose Pieris brassicae the Cabbage White for this project.

Pieris sp. embryo

Pieris sp. morphes through three developmental stages in a butterfly egg. Three scanned data sets of butterfly embryos colored, morphed and rendered.

Scan of freshly hatched Pieris caterpillar

Raw data of microCT scan of bred and hatched Pieris sp. caterpillar.

Planet Insect

Starting point of the project were computer-animated scientific visualization shots for the documentary series "Planet Insect" by Steve Nicholls produced for Curiosity Stream. An animation of the "Fly Haltere" - the gyroscopic organ of flies is included in the trailer: https://vimeo.com/727388756/e3a6212cf6.

Residency at the University of Salzburg to develop "Fly... Butterfly".

The basic principle of tomography is largely known because of MRI scans. Nevertheless, it never ceases to amaze recipients that this technique is used in so many scientific investigations in the micro and nano range with similar technical principles. Such scanned organic entities are not only sampled on the surface, as is done in photogrammetry, but volumetric data are created and these cross-section stacks also provide detailed information from the inside of the specimen. Existing imaging data of hoverflies and butterfly eggs can be worked out by developing the data into larger-than-life representations. The project aims to bring the wonder that our ecosystem and the diverse life on our earth represents to all visitors. Insects make up an important part of our ecosystem, and their population and diversity has declined sharply in recent years. Often only small steps, such as no poison and no or less mowing the lawn, have to be implemented to do something to protect insects. The project aims to create new formats that can expand their impact on society as a whole through an interaction between digital, biological, spiritual and cultural spaces.

Fly... Butterfly: Raw Data

Pieris brassica caterpillar in egg

Moth antenna

Fly part with haltere