Dryland Projections

Dryland Projections was created by Biofaction KG, with Isabel Prade, Markus Schmidt and Sandra Youssef in collaboration with The Dryland Ecology and Global Change – University of Alicante.

One Planet – MUSEON, The Hague

Financial support:
Madonna (EC Horizon 2020 FETOPEN research and innovation program under grant agreement No. 766975)

Apart from melting glaciers, warming oceans, and extreme weather events on the rise, the increase in droughts has become a major issue due to a changing climate. Drylands will be suffering a decrease in biodiversity due to climate change as the rising heat is affecting their biocrusts – the microbial communities living on the soil surface. An approach for counteracting the negative effects of the current warming trend, is to support the microbial soil communities. By modifying some of the existing species’ genes, the whole microbial system could become more resilient to increasingly dry conditions.

Dryland Projections aims to open up multiple futures and introduce a critical approach to the topic of engineering the climate: What will happen when nature becomes technology? How do microorganisms deal with climate change or the introduction of new species into their habitat? What happens if we don’t take any measures against climate change?

Based on the research of both science collaborators and forecasted predictions on Spanish drylands, the artist team developed different speculative outcomes for 2052 and visualized those with an interactive screeen animation that depicts almost infinite possible interactions between nature and technology.

The project also aims to inform the public about biotechnological developments, on which scientists are currently working and initiate a dialogue. Museum visitors were able to give up their opinions on the topic using the screen in the installation, which were shared with the scientists.