Once upon a time, little electronic beings left their old mobile devices and became inhabitants of (ssshhh… can you hear? do you see? Oohh, trees have ears and eyes…)

Enchanted Forest is is a world “populated” with mysterious trees inhabited by surprisingly repurposed mobile phones components. In this enchanted forest, “walls have ears, and trees have eyes” – visual input is acquired with the mobile phone cameras repurposed as webcams, then the output is displayed on the disassembled screens, while the sound input is captured with microphones, destined for an output with the mentioned mobile devices’ loudspeakers! It’s no longer “wysiwyg” for what you’ll see is not what you get, but “wtsahiwyg”, a weird unpronounceable word from the fantastic world of the Enchanted Forest, standing for “what trees see and hear is what you get”.

The exploration in the concept and in the interaction is multidimensional in time and space, assuming the characteristics of multiple disperse interrelated annotations, as in fantasy magical world. Cameras and microphones hanging on trees are mechanical robots, as live weird eyes and ears in a Kusturica movie. His playful and delirious approach, as well as or in Guilherme [Martins 09] creative robots family, are inspirations for letting go creativity and be open to experiments with devices that light the fuse for the tinkering process.
Taking part of the possibilities enhanced by mobile devices, the technological limitations are equally rich in aesthetical potential, and advantages derived from low resolutions and lateral thinking processes.
In the remote place where the video and audio records are presented and enjoyed, whether it’s home by an online user, or in a gallery by exhibition visitors, the (re)constitution of the enchanted forest happens through the audiovisual flickering and other clues that stimulate imagination. Flickering effects with lights for visual suggestion, and echo spatial effects with sound amplification through space, made possible with mobile devices components. These capabilities are augmented by the use of sensors for expressivity and for prevention: temperature, smoke, and wind are some of the possibilities considered. The scintillating magical images, sounds, and other resulting data (such as temperature) of this world of fantasy also work as clues for forest surveillance, as “benign agents – The Good ones” that protect the forests – against “human evil action” of putting fire, for example.

This interactive environment is fertile ground for storytelling, a potential indicted and still to develop, by crossing fantasy and reality, a platform inspired in open models for free creation and open connectedness. It is also prone to subprojects, lined by the specificities of flora and local cultures: “The Mysterious Oak”, for example, could be an enchanted forest subproject looking forward to Alentejo natural resources preservation.
In the “Enchanted forest” world, foolish experiments combine with ideas of genious, ecology is naturally compatible with technology, real coexists with virtual, art and science are interconnected branches, forests and users are friends.



KUSTURICA, Emir, Filmography

MARTINS, Guilherme [2009] Experimental robotics, Robots family members

THÉOPHANE, James [2009], Mobile Mobile
- an interactive installation