This new iteration of sub_scape is a literal and conscious projection of landscape and the symmetry of intent.
In the gallery, in front of a flat screen, the visitor pedals a recumbent cycle; this provides the energy to modify and ‘clean’ a 3d terrain that is terraforming in realtime. The environment is created by datasets that are key indicators of contemporary ecological/technological/economic/cultural ills, some pre-cached and some coming in live from the www. Pollution indicators, domestic violence statistics, oil prices, global warming indices, mortality data… The system defaults to a dystopic vision - the surface of the terraform sinks and flops, while data spikes create ugly depressions, extreme colour graduations and poor water to landform ratios. The surface is lacklustre, barren, deeply pitted and distressed.


As soon as the visitor starts pedalling, their efforts contribute to rebalancing our ecosystem. The 3d terrain is seen and heard to revitalise and improve, taking on more natural peaks and troughs, and evolves to support new lifeforms. Working from realtime visual and aural feedback, the visitor cycles harder and begins to get an endorphin affect from their efforts. As the visitor cycles and feels the affect, the modelled terrain develops pleasing glows that reflect the cyclist’s increased endorphins. The cyclist also has the added incentive and pleasure of knowing that the energy created is being stored and used to power the installation, a carbon neutral position. When the visitor stops, their efforts sustain the system for a period. Visitors’ efforts will have a cumulative effect over the duration of the exhibition, helping to sustain the environment against the onslaught of ‘uncomfortable’ data.


sub_scapeCYCLE riffs on ideas of imaginary islands and their modern counterpart, virtual worlds, where human folly, idealism and agency are manifest. The cycle symbolises sustainable culture, and the personal, individual and physiological effort we can make to counteract environmental crises. The visitor can have agency of both a literal and symbolic 'world' and contribute to the evolution of a world of sustainability, balance, ecology, ethics, and consciousness.

Literally the bike energy will offset the carbon cost of producing the artwork. Excess power production will be stored and recorded in the energy display panel. An interpretation panel will outline the carbon footprint of the project, and the target kWatts required to offset.


sub_scapeCYCLE offers a convergent space between biology and artifice, implicating the audience in a simple and direct way. The experience comments on energy consumption in electronic arts and media, our power/lessness to impact on environmental disaster wrought by extreme capitalism and dominant aesthetics of hyperreal Cartesian space. sub_scapeCYCLE is an aesthetic staging of a bioethical encounter. The bicycle interface is a quirky and affectionate illustration of the machinations of embodied knowledge production.
In the words of Irish writer Flann O’Brien,

’The gross and net result of it is that people who spent most of their natural lives riding iron bicycles over the rocky rocksteads of this parish get their personalities mixed up with the personalities of their bicycle as a result of the interchanging of atoms of the each of them and you would be surprised at the number of people in these parts who are nearly half people and half bicycles.’
I let go a gasp of astonishment that made a sound in the air like a bad puncture.
“And you would be flabbergasted at the number of bicycles that are half-human almost half-man, half-partaking of humanity.’
Apparently there is no limit, Joe remarked. Anything can be said in this place and it will be true and will have to be believed.



system overview



Suitable for shared or individual interior environment. (Note: headphones are used so audio spill does not occur)
The work can be presented in a darkened gallery or public space.
Installation footprint 1.5m x 1.5m (this includes the user and the work as well as multiple audience viewing the work).



1 x 40-50” (100-130cm) or greater LCD screen or projector and screen/wall.
1 x Custom recumbent bicycle
1 x CPU
1 x Black Box (invertor battery and electronics)
1 x Headphones
Note no Internet connection is required.



Work will be installed by the artists in 4 hrs.
No additional technical support required outside of normal gallery attendant duties for duration of exhibition.