TeleAgriCulture_Rhizomatic Bias

TeleAgriCulture_Rhizomatic Bias (2019) is an installation by Julian Stadon, Erik Overmeire, Daniel Artamendi and V2_.

What happens if biotopes start chatting to each other using social network communication models? TeleAgriCulture_Rhizomatic Bias, aims to explore how bias grows in machine learning and intelligent systems.

Digital Network

Through a digital network three aquaponic systems are enabled to learn about each other and communicate via light and sound with one another. Through learning sensory information about each other the biospheres form social relationships, based on how similar they are to one another and how statistically normal they are. Those with the most in common will attack the weaker one, in effect cyberbullying it. These artistic provocations point at the much larger problems we face when our emotional biases and social constructions affect the way artificial intelligent systems evolve and impact on life.

TeleAgriCulture_ Rhizomatic Bias from V2_ on Vimeo.



The installations consist out of three aquaponic biospheres setup at V2_, Stadtwerkstatt and Ars Electronica. The aquaponics systems consist of invasive fish species found around Rotterdam and Linz, and crops which are commonly grown there. A mobile communication interface kit has been built that plugs directly into the aquaponics systems and networks them to create a bio-digital feedback loop. Sensory data, text to speech software and hue-scaled LED lighting outputs are used for the kits to communicate with each other. The kits communicate in a language that uses translations of traditional soil proverbs and sayings, that are metaphorically linked to class, wealth, luck, labor, advice, directions and productivity/efficiency. 


A social status algorithm enables the three biotopes to cyberbully each other, based on the differences and similarities in their environmental conditions, in relation to predetermined ‘norms’. The status of the kits’ relationships with each other determines the words that are spoken, the frequency and volume of the speech and the colouring of the lights, affecting the growth and stress of both the plants and fish in the aquaponics systems.

The building of social relationships are derived from shared 'norms' in behaviour and ecosystem homeostasis. These norms reflect predetermined AI biases and systemic imbalances inherent in all data-driven systems, including agriculture and social networks. Such biases affect the way information is communicated and controlled, with seriously adverse effects, ranging from biodiversity to fake news, rigged elections, to nutritional value, beliefs and ideologies, dramatically changing the way we live.


TeleAgriCulture_Rhizomatic Bias is a work by  Julian Stadon (AU), Erik Overmeire (NL), Daniel Artamendi (ES), developed in collaboration with V2_ Lab for Unstable Media (NL). The project is supported by V2_ Lab for Unstable Media, Cultivamos Cultura and marart.org

TeleAgriCulture is a crowd/cloud agricultural data network for artists that integrates & invites individual agricultural practices. Our modular kits are scalable to all locations and ecologies, through a sensory datasphere. Real-time analytics and machine learning optimise system data for merging natural systems, data systems & social exchange networks with artistic reflection.

More: teleagriculture.org

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