Viridis, the spirulina farm

Viridis, la ferme à spiruline

After two years, Gaspard and Sandra Bébié-Valérian worked hard. They made a first prototype, produced several installations (cf the Viridiarium). Now, they finally succeed to create : Viridis, the spirulina farm. Viridis, this is a videogame. This also a real spirulina farm and an installation. Viridis is a global project that relies on different modules, the main being an online video game, immersive, plus an installation made of spirulina bioreactors and a set of videos and sounds. While Viridis is mainly available on the internet, the two artists, at this occasion, will present it out of the screen, they will deploy and spread it in several modules. Viridis is a unique game experience combining adventure, survival, and an actual operating spirulina community management. Through the video game, the community can directly affect and interact with a real operating spirulina farm, managed by the artists. The Viridis context is set in a post-apocalyptic world, in which survivors owe their survival to the “green counterpoison”, the spirulina.

The player is a “child of the afterworld” whose mission is to build a new farm for a future colony. He must therefore go on exploration, recovery items and materials, assemble and reuse them to create the conditions for the production of spirulina. By participating in the game, the player accesses the community management of an actual spirulina farm. In the game, the players earn points they can invest in daily tasks or items, they can also vote in referendums as sort to decide the procedures for the good development of the spirulina. Spirulina is known for its health and nutritional benefits and used in humanitarian contexts. The Viridis farm is located in the southern Cévennes. It currently consists of a greenhouse with a tank where spirulina is cultivated, it works with solar energy and is equipped with sensors to monitor the health and production.  However, if the game is still available online, the project was directly connected to the sumer season. Indeed, the spirulina grows with strong light and heat. That’s why the interconnection with the real farm was operational from june to october. Now the spirulina hibernates.

The Viridis players are both implicated in the cleaning and harvest processes, but also they are consulted to get feedbacks about the technical and energetic improvments.

The players, as they wander and progress in the game, collect points which allow them to invest in specific real actions or even objects. Thanks to the points gained in the game, everyone involved in the daily tasks vote (referendums) decide the procedures for operating and interacting with farmers.

Although the the game remains available on the internet, the project has a limited period of time. Indeed, the proper development of spirulina depends on the sun and heat, which is why the project in its interconnection with real farm took place from June to October 2014.

The spirulina farm is now in hibernation. This does not exclude, now and during the winter and fall seasons, to present spirulina bioreactors  (like the Viridarium) as is the case with the Crassier.

To play and access the project:

While Viridis is an experience played from the internet, we were keen to develop installations shown during exhibitions. Our main question was how could we expose spirulina in an art gallery or a museum? Thus, we developed a system that gathers objects, pictures, videos from Viridis and reconstituted in a specific space scenography. Here is a gallery of images representing the Viridis installation (Gamerz festival 2014).

The teaser

The introduction

The spirulina harvest

How to invest your points in the real farm, explanations

The laboratory / Tutorial

Viridis, the end

Viridis is a project initiated and created by Sandra & Gaspard Bébié-Valérian aka Art-Act, produced by Oudeis, french cultural organisation dedicated to new media arts. Viridis received the support of the European Union (FEDER), the DRAC Languedoc-Roussillon, the Languedoc-Roussillon Regional Council.

With the help of the Conseil Général du Gard and the city of Le Vigan.

An AADN coproduction with the support of the Rhône-Alpes Regional Council and with the participation of the DICRéAM.

A Labomedia coproduction, with the CNES-La Chartreuse.

With the contribution of Events for Games, Hexagence, The Artchemists, Let’s Motiv and MCD.

Sandra & Gaspard Bébié-Valérian aka Art-Act, artists : ideas, photographies, sound design, texts
Thibaut Trampont, Events for Games : gamedesign and diffusion
Hexagence, Christophe et Sylvie Couprie : developpement
Julia Delcambre : webdesign, data-visualisation
Micah Parker : graphism
Manuel Fadat : actor, voice, sound design