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Lunchtime talk write-up
Posted on Fri 12 Oct 2018

Biosphere IV: Re-imagining the future of nature

Joining us this week Tom Bailey talks to us about the R&D phase of his latest performance piece - Biosphere IV.

Tom Baliey Standing in front of holding slide

Tom Bailey: Lunch Time Talk

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David, tinkering

David Haylock

David was Creative Technologist at Watershed from end of 2013 to spring 2019.



Tom Bailey

Tom is a theatre maker and director from Bristol. He creates work through award-winning theatre company, MECHANIMAL. The company’s work explores fresh narratives of a changing planet Earth, touring shows both in the UK and…

Joining us this week Tom Bailey talks to us about the R&D phase of his latest performance piece - Biosphere IV. 

Five Things I Learned: 

1. Tom currently has numerous projects that either comment on or explore nature, biotech and environmental issues. For example, he has been working shows that explores bird migration, the loss of Arctic Sea Ice and Desert Hermits.

2. Biosphere IV is heavily influenced by the ambitious Biosphere II experiment that occured in Oracle, Arizona over 30 years ago, where eight participants sealed themselves away inside an enclosed living system (Biome) for two years. Inside the participants set about exploring new ways of potentially colonising and living on other planets.

3. Biosphere II wasn't a complete failure despite, the participants spliting into two factions, the inability to manage the Oxygen and Carbon Dioxide levels and low morale caused by having to import food from the outside world.

4. As the name suggests there have been 3 other Biospheres: 

  • Biosphere 1: is Earth.
  • Biosphere 2: as mentioned was the experiment set up in Arizona.
  • BIOS-3: was an underground steel structure in Russia that was concerned with developing closed ecosystems capable of supporting human life. It used Chlorella Algae to recycling the oxygen breathed by the crew.

5. Biosphere IV is a theatrical performance that asks the public to imagine future living by responding to natural environments. Participants are given Bluetooth headsets which receive unique soundscapes that responds to the current imagined Biome and the participants own interpretations.