Artist creates Matrix-like art out of light and cacti

Credit: Romain Tardy

In a botanical garden in the southern Mexican state of Oaxaca there resides a wall of organ pipe cacti. On your average day, these succulents bemuse their occasional visitors with their parallel lines and stark, organized look. On a number of recent evenings, however, they've transported everyone lucky enough to see them into a whole new Matrix-like expanse of cryptic symbols.

The project that brought the unlikely bedfellows of sci-fi and desert flora together is called The Ark, by Romain Tardy with music by (and this is true) Squeaky Lobster. Aimed at lending a fantastical voice to the cacti themselves, the installation can also give off the effect that you are being watched by some incorporeal, electronic demi-god.

The project and its associated artists are part of the European group AntiVJ, a self-titled "visual label" specializing in projected light installations. Visitors to the Oaxaca Botanical Garden were encouraged not to stand in one place while the show went on, but rather to explore the multiple vistas the installation afforded them. Even through the not-so-self-guided tour of the video below, we can imagine the splendor of stepping through a Matrix-like expanse of moving code-like images only to reappear in a quiet desert garden at the other end.

Proyecta Oaxaca, via The Verge

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