The Social Media Workgroup


An extra-terrestrial nursery

The Social Media Workgroup

directed by Andrea Polli
GLOWpod – (G)rowing (L)ife on (O)ther (W)orlds
UNM Albuquerque, New Mexico

The artist:The Social Media Workgroup investigates the social and ecological impacts of media technology through practice-based research. Based at the University of New Mexico, the group designs and creates projects related to media technology, environment and social change. The GLOWpod is created by the 2018 Social Media Workgroup (SMW) team directed by Andrea Polli.
SMW Researchers:
Paul Ross: built structure, plant research, design and concept
David Di Donato: electronics, design and concept
Brandon Wade: programming, interface design and concept
Jared Rendon-Tropak: 3d modeling, documentation and concept
Ariel Manese: logo design and concept

About the art: What would it look like if we had to sustain our lives on another planet or in outer space? The GLOWpod by the Social Media Workgroup (SMW) invites participants into a territory somewhere between a greenhouse of tomorrow and extra-terrestrial nursery: a sphere-shaped room that immerses visitors in living plants and spectacular responsive lighting displays. As explorers enter this space, inputs such as temperature, carbon dioxide, oxygen, light/heat, soil moisture, humidity, water level, water flow and motion are sensed and visualized in animated light. Plants in the GLOWpod have been carefully chosen from local flora of the Taos region that work systematically to grow food and medicines for people and wildlife. Shallow rooting vegetables, like beets, purslane, and onion sprout in tandem with native flowers, herbs, and grasses. By combining living and synthetic media, GLOWpod begins a conversation about humanity’s impact on planet Earth, addressing sustainability and symbiosis. The goal of the project is to promote a more conscious interaction with life.

Community collaborators: Red Willow Farms, an indigenous knowledge exchange, with help from STEAM NM VISTAs:  Shanti Duval, Britney King, Lora Mirk, Noel Mollinedo, Paul Ward.

PASEO location: Civic Plaza Drive

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