Terabytus Digitata - The Tree of Knowledge

I was recently commissioned by the Good Work Foundation to create the Digital Tree of Knowledge (Terabytus digitata) as a symbol of African excellence in learning. GWF dreams of enabling such trees to one day be “planted” across South Africa.

These are some images of the process...

“An infinite branching of minds”

Set in this modern context the implementation of this artwork navigates a social political landscape. The tree is seen here in a neo-mythical paradigm, remade and recycled, the structure provides a wireless connection to all knowledge without the filter of good and bad. This Digital Tree of Knowledge offers a place for learning and sharing. The meeting place is now connected with the virtual, creating an infinite branching of minds, wires and ideas, held strong by the roots of our humanity's resourcefulness.

These are the elements the sculpture has integrated:

Broadcasting a high-speed wireless connection to the internet, the sphere of the tree’s knowledge can be accessed by any person under its branches reach. Access to all knowledge and wisdom the world has to offer.

Defunct and irreparable electronic waste has been incorporated into the structure and fills the core of the tree. This demonstrates a reuse of the old to make something new in a conceptual and functional way.

With the devices we use to stay connected we inevitably need to recharge. The tree has a few plug points that offer “clean” power as a free, regulated and reliable source.

Projection & Sound
Concealed within the trunk of the tree, a full state of the art sound system brings music to the space. A projector can display video on the closest wall for group gatherings and presentations that can be controlled via remote.

Memory Fruits
Loaded with a Terabyte of memory implanted into one of the roots of the tree, an individual can plug into the USB connection and access a selection of “fruits”. The selection of subjects range widely, to cover many facets of learning and are intended to give an objective collective connection to the good and evils of the world. Users can also “drop” information onto the tree’s built in Terabyte harddrive, making it a dynamic memory source.

The tree has always been the African place to meet and discuss matters of great importance. The surrounding ledge acts as a seat, welcoming users to recline against the tree and move into a focused and reflective headspace. The intention here is to encourage a way of learning in an African way combining technology, tradition and wisdom.

Exploring the growth of the human mindscape and environment, may this work provide a boundless resource of learning and sharing for many years to come. Thank you to GWF for this opportunity...

More info on The Good Work Foundation is available here..