Atmospheric Forest is an immersive VR artwork by artist duo Rasa Smite and Raitis Smits, visualising relations between forest emissions and climate change. It is based on Swiss climate scientist studies on ancient Alpine forests suffering from drought. The VR viewer gets immersed in a laser scanned forest with animated emission data of pine scent. By creating a fully immersive experience and making visible the invisible processes in nature, the artwork aims to reveal the complex interactions between the atmospheric and terrestrial ecosystems.

Overall, the trees are breathing. Trees emit large amounts of volatile organic compounds that we can experience as a habitual scent of the forest. Only recently scientists have become aware that predicting the effects of natural volatile emissions on warming climate is much more complex than thought. VR artwork shows this complexity by visualizing the data of volatile emissions, resin pressure in pine trees and weather conditions during one growing season in Pfynwald, an Alpine coniferous forest. To better understand the ‘volatiles’, a resin was harvested during the artist field trips to Pfynwald and transformed into the turpentine and colophon sculpture. In VR, the viewer can immerse in this forest, travel through the tree trunk, becoming a part of the emitting forest ecosystem.


Tags: RIXC, Atmospheric Forest, Ecology, Forest, Eco Data, Green revisited, Terrestrial Ecosystems.

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