Biosphere IV, video game / VR, work-in-progress
Version 1.0 trailer
Biosphere IV is an interactive/immersive work created in collaboration with Amy J. Wilson. Using Unreal Engine, the work reimagines the story of Biosphere 2, an experimental research project in the 1990s that sought to replicate the earth’s biomes through a closed ecological system (CES). Considered by many as a failure, we imagine a world where Biosphere 2 was a success. As a result, the turn of the 21st century witnessed an accelerated commercial space race, with the Arizona facility acting as a prototype for off-world settlements that promised answers to the looming climate crisis. The narrative begins in the year 2023, where, in our alternate timeline, the first generation of artificial CES has been unveiled.
Drawing from the Sci-Fi writer Ray Bradbury’s original script for Spaceship Earth, a theme park ride at EPCOT which celebrates the power of enterprise capital, the work imagines what the future of monetisation and the continued commodification of experience might look like in the case of the ecosystem itself. We looked towards the Walt Disney company and its ventures as leading examples of this commercial transformation. Specifically, the original conception of EPCOT as a utopian city. Recently, the dreams of Biosphere 2 have been rejuvenated by SpaceX’s plans of colonising Mars and Musk’s idea of ‘backing up the biosphere’. The work seeks to question our apathetic acceptance of techno-solutionism and the automated future it promises - can we really ‘back up’ the biosphere and simply buy another one?