Screen capture from early mock up.

Screen capture from early mock up.

Raw depth buffer capture of house plants used to create the “jungle”.

Raw depth buffer capture of house plants used to create the “jungle”.


The Gardeners is an interactive installation about living traditions, the preservation of knowledge, and respect for our ancestors and our posterity - for what has come before and what will come when we are gone. In this growing database of depth camera captures, ordinary people and houseplants are recast as mythical participants in the ritualistic passing on of a mysterious knowledge. There is no urgency, no great drama or bombast. The otherworldly human caretakers simply tend to the wild garden, patiently waiting for the next group to appear and take their charge. The viewer who slows down and takes the time to observe, is acknowledged and silently invited to join the lineage.

All imagery is taken from the direct depth image capture of a Kinect. A set of pre-recorded loops of small houseplants are used to create the illusion of a large garden or jungle. Between the layers of plants, figures come and go as they tend the plants, plant new seeds, or simply sit in meditation. These asynchronous loops create the foundation for the piece. When audience members sit in front of the projection for long enough, the figures begin to notice them, stopping what they are doing. One at a time, they come to sit, looking out at the viewer. After a while, the viewers own image appears in the fold, reflecting back at them. The user, captured by a hidden kinect, becomes one of the Gardeners, there to sit with and greet all those that come after.

Here is a short mockup clip to give a sense of the basic feel :

Technical requirements

Supplied by artist

  • 1 x Windows Desktop Workstation

  • 1 x ~10 terrabyte high speed storage drive

  • 1 x Microsoft Kinect

  • Neopixel LED lights and power supply (for seating area)

  • 1 x meditation cushion

  • 1 x audio mixer

Supplied by Venue

  • 1 x 1080P native widescreen video projector w/mounting apparatus

  • 1 x HDMI cable

  • 1 x 16:9 Projection surface - approx. 12’ x 6.75’

  • 4 x loudspeakers - dual stereo configuration. These can be small and, with amplifier, could be non-powered.

  • 4 lengths audio cable, depending on speaker type.