eCO2system. Interactive data-driven installation (custom electronics, custom software, microprocessor, peristaltic pump, LCD screen, aquarium, water, fish, data from twitter)


eCO2system is the third artwork of the Social Things series. Social Things are augmented common objects that dynamically change parameters of their functionality and appearance according to real-time data retrieved from social media activity. They reflect on behaviors that appear on social networks such as the divergence between digital & physical identities, dataveillance by authorities, and the social and environmental impact of the Internet’s materiality. The Social Things series consists of three artworks: inflated_ego, #freeprometheus and eCO2system


The operation of the Internet presupposes a physical infrastructure that consumes natural resources and pollutes the environment. Daily online activity harms the environment, despite the ecological awareness users may promote on social networks. Social media platforms are among the most visited sites worldwide and their (ab)use contributes to the increase of CO2 emissions. However, the Internet’s materiality is deliberately obfuscated in order to keep its environmental and sociopolitical impact away from perception.

eCO2system reflects on the social and political impact of the Internet’s materiality and the physical consequences of our digital activity.

It consists of an aquarium containing a micro-scale ecosystem of fish. Parameters of the ecosystem change dynamically according to real-time data retrieved from the social media platform Twitter. Tweets that promote climate change awareness deteriorate the conditions of the ecosystem, thus drawing attention to the physical consequences of our digital actions.

In concrete, the aquarium is augmented with a peristaltic pump controlled by a custom electronic circuit. Whenever a new tweet tagged with the hashtag #StopClimateChange is detected, the peristaltic pump is activated and it pumps water from the aquarium to an auxiliary water container (the quantity of water cannot be decreased under a certain level to ensure that the eco-system will not be damaged).


  •  A zoo of the pandemic exhibition. Mink Festival. February – March 2021
  • Technotribalism exhibition. 16th Athens Digital Arts Festival. July-September 2020

The proposal of the project has been shortlisted for the EMARE award by the European Media Art Platform.

Related Talks:

“Exploring the environmental and social impact of the internet’s materiality through a data-driven media art installation”, 27th International Symposium on Electronic Arts (ISEA 2022). Barcelona, June 2022

“Augmented objects interacting with social media activity” @ Ionian Academy, Corfu 2019.

An online interactive graphical simulation of the installation has been created using node.js and p5.js