Rasa Smite, Raitis Smits
Biotricity. Fluctuations of Micro-Worlds
Installation view FIELDS, Arsenāls Exhibition Hall of the Latvian National Museum of Art, Riga, 2014, photo © the artists, photo: Martins Ratniks

Rasa Smite
*1969 in Riga (LV), lives and works in Riga

Raitis Smits
*1966 in Riga (LV), lives and works in Riga

»Biotricity. Fluctuations of Micro-Worlds«
, bacteria battery (2 MFC cells), real-time sonification and visualization of bioenergy, video


»Biotricity« is a sonic and visual experiment with mud batteries, fuelled by bacteria living at the bottom of a pond, lake, swamp, or sea. It is part of an ongoing art and science project series that explores local ecosystems for envisioning renewable future scenarios by reconsidering our relations with nature and technology, biological and social systems, human and microorganism worlds.

The installation at »Open Codes« consists of a double cell »bacteria battery«, where the electricity is generated by microorganisms living in mud. The fluctuation of bacterial electricity is interpreted as real-time stereo sound structures. The video on the screen is manipulated simultaneously by the live sound and interpreted as real-time glitch visualizations. In that sense, the collected data is transformed by the artists into live sonifications and real-time visualizations, thus making the invisible processes of nature audible and visible. The installation is complemented by a time-lapse video from »pond batteries«, real on-site experiments with bacterial »power plants« installed in various wetlands.

By using sonic expressions, real-time visualizations, and data interpretations, »Biotricity« aims to create new aesthetics as well as sensual and emotional experiences – poetics of green energy.


The artwork was created with the support of the State Cultural Capital Foundation of Latvia and the Solid State Physics Institute of Latvian University.

The sonification was made in collaboration with the artist Voldemārs Johansons.