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Crowdsourcing Mornings: The Tree Of Life: A Project By The Space Song Foundation

This is Crowdsourcing Mornings! This post takes place every weekday morning and highlights one crowdsourcing project I liked from Kickstarter, Indiegogo, or other crowdsourcing websites.

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The Tree of Life is the first public art/science project of the Space Song Foundation, a non-profit organization formed to promote long-term thinking at the intersection of art, science, and design on Earth and in outer space. The Tree of Life connects Earth and outer space through a song, which is sent via radio waves between an orbiting spacecraft and an unlikely technological component: a set of live trees that have been activated to operate as large, living antenna systems. The trees will be sited around the globe, with the first two in New York, venue TBA, and in Los Angeles, presented by the Los Angeles County Museum of Art’s Art + Tech Lab.

The trees and spacecraft will sing a song to each other continuously for centuries, and it will be recorded in real time for 200 years. The song is formed by long-term data sets that describe the trees’ experience of life on Earth (light, soil moisture, and temperature), and the spacecraft sings a song describing its own long-term operational capacity (energy, velocity, communication bandwidth, etc.). The numbers in these data sets are translated into sonic frequencies and communicated between the trees and spacecraft via radio, so that ultimately, the trees and spacecraft sing a duet for 200 years. The song is open-source and accessible to the public; DJ’s can re-mix it, and scientists can use it to detect shifts that can be difficult to glean from centuries-long data sets.

Our spacecraft pushes the constraints of technological obsolescence by operating continuously for 200 years, beyond the short time frames of our Earthly cell phones or laptops. The Tree of Life generates research that helps scientists and designers plan a future interstellar spacecraft that can operate over decades and light years, and a platform for the public to envision a long-term sense of the future–we believe that we can all use a creative sense of hope these days. Our system makes trees central to the technology in order to challenge designers to think beyond our human time frames, which is especially relevant at a moment when space exploration is increasingly accessible to private tech interests, while the detritus of e-waste threatens life on our home planet.

We need your help to install the first two singing antenna-trees in the summer/fall of 2022: one in New York, venue TBA, and one in Los Angeles, supported by the Los Angeles County Museum of Art’s Art + Tech Lab!

As of November 9th, this project has raised $8,500 of their $15,000 goal. This project has 9 days left to raise the $15,000 or it will not be funded. For a pledge of $15, you will get a social media thank you.  For a pledge of $25, you will get project updates.  To learn more and to pledge money, go to:

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