Author/Creator ORCID





Citation of Original Publication

Moren, Lisa and Tsvetan Bachvaroff. "EMERGING STRATEGIES “UNDER THE BAY” IN AR/XR." ISEA2023 SYMBOISIS, 28th International Conference on Electronic Art. 15 September, 2023. https://isea2023.isea-international.org/.


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“Under the Bay” is an augmented reality project where anyone can use their cell phone like a microscope and reveal invisibilities in our world and marine life. When they do a series of animated stories between humans and non-humans emerge. Images, sounds, and stories are affected by live data streamed in from sensors located in the largest estuary in North America. Sensors in the Chesapeake Bay relay live pH, oxygen, temperature, etc. (figure 9). Similar to the water itself, color, speed, audio fluctuate with the water and marine life, making “Under the Bay” a datadriven narrative with eight scenes that tell a story of a world beneath the marine surface, and the exciting but frail health of estuaries and oceans worldwide. The two projects discussed here, “Under the Bay” (2022) and “What is the Shape of Water?” (2020), are part of Lisa Moren’s series of cross-species artworks aimed at diminishing human-centered exceptionalism. The collaborations began in 2019 when Lisa was the inaugural Artist-in-Resident at the Institute for Marine and Environmental Technology (IMET). There, she met researcher and marine biologist, Dr. Tsvetan Bachvaroff (Tsetso) and the two immediately shared a like-minded vision to develop a project that exemplified phenomenal exceptionalisms in microorganisms. In this paper we argue that novel strategies in nature emerge when a complexity of matter is intermingled with conditions of differentiation. We explain and identify differentiation in art and architecture, symbiosis in biology, and the “wobble” in physics as core principles for new forms and creative strategies to emerge. The outcome is focused on the unusual and significant diversification of dinoflagellate microbe’s in the Chesapeake Bay and oceans worldwide. Tsetso directed the live organisms, science and data analysis for the augmented reality project. Stories are written and told by Lisa, who produced and art directed the animation and AR scenes. The sound score is by electronic composer Dan Deacon. Dr. Marc Olano led the software engineering and development with John Boutsikas, for the AR app in IOS and Google Play.