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…)

The Enchanted Forest is a world “populated” with mysterious trees inhabited by mobile phone components repurposed in surprising ways.
In this Enchanted Forest, “walls have ears, and trees have eyes”.

Exploring the possibilities provided by mobile devices, this installation also takes advantage of the technological limitations derived from low resolution and lateral thinking processes, which are equally rich in aesthetic potential. Robotic creatures made from repurposed cell phone components are placed on the trees. The visual input is acquired with mobile phone cameras, while the sound input is captured with microphones. The output is then showcased on the mobile devices’ disassembled screens and loudspeaker exhibited at the gallery.

The (re)constitution of the enchanted forest happens through the audiovisual outputs that stimulate imagination. Light effects with visual suggestions, and echo spatial effects with sound amplification through space are perceived through mobile devices components. These capabilities are augmented by the use of sensors for expressivity and for prevention: temperature, smoke, and wind.
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 a fertile ground for storytelling, a potential to develop by crossing fantasy and reality on a platform inspired in open models for free creation and open connectedness.

The cameras and microphones hanging on trees are live weird eyes and ears as in Kusturica's playful and colorful movies like “Black Cat, White Cat” [Kaufman99]. This surreal and delirious approach, as well as the creative robots family [Martins10], are inspirations for unleashing creativity and to be open to experiments with devices that promote the tinkering process. Another relevant work is the project ReWare by Hans-Christoph Steiner, where PDAs are recycled to create musical instruments [Kirn09]. Mobile Mobile is also an interesting reference noteworthy for the setup and use of mobile phone components in an interactive installation [Théophane09].

The Enchanted Forest concept was proposed in the scope of the AZ Labs Sprint “Laboratório Europa 01”, adopted as part of the Remix Europe proposal in its European tales component.



KAUFMAN, Anthony (1999) "Interview: Momentum and Emotion, Emir Kusturica's 'Black Cat, White Cat'", in indieWIRE, September 9, 1999.

KIRN, Peter (2009) "Save that Old PDA: Run Reware, Play Pd Musical Creations, Android (OFFF, NYC)", in Create Digital Music, May 12, 2009

KUSTURICA, Emir, Filmography

MARTINS, Guilherme [2010] Experimental robotics, Robots family members

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


Enchanted Forest European Tales