teamLab is a collective of Tokyo-based artists and ultra-technologists who push the capabilities of interactive technologies to create compelling digital artworks. Referencing influences ranging from traditional ukiyo-e painting to manga and anime, the group finds new ways to explore the role of technology through experiments in ways that we understand representation, perspective, and space. By layering images, sound, and movement, their works defy the border between self and world as well as traditionally Western approaches of how to “engage” an artwork.
teamLab’s Graffiti Nature (2016) presents us with a virtual ecosystem of exaggerated wildlife and plant forms. The work invites viewers to become participants as they physically alter, express themselves within, and ultimately become a part of the work. Visitors can scan and add their own drawn additions to images of reptiles, amphibians, insects, and other creatures that grow, consume one another, and disappear, creating a live ecosystem. As participants pause to contemplate their surroundings, their stillness encourages the growth of flowers and plants.
teamLab’s works often celebrate life, the essential element of water, and the regenerating capacity of pristine nature. Through its need for active participation, Graffiti Nature dissolves the boundaries between artwork and viewer, ultimately heightening our awareness of the connections between people and their environment.
Credit: Exhibition overview from museum website