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The Giving Tree

I dreamt this statue into being in 2017. A personal passion creation, I designed the structure and honed the final concept together with a team of enthusiastic people. 

I managed and led 30 volunteers in teams of engineering, carpentry and logistics. Together we created this spectacular and unique art installation in the middle of the desert. 

The project was made for the Israeli Burning Man.
It is a large scale wooden structure housing a machine learning system that tries to receive as many hugs as possible.

The neural network was connected to the heart of the tree,

a large electro magnetic sensor that served as the main input.

The secondary input was a set of data received from a Kinect sensor, sending the facial state and position of people in the room.

The neural network was set to optimize towards increasing the sensed magnetic field.
As the human body is generating a magnetic field, this system was actually optimized to receive hugs from people, and aspired to have as many of the visitors as close as possible to the sensor.

The the system controlled a set of "fireflies" projected on the floor and a set of birds songs slowed down to sound like whale songs.


We might never know for sure if this art experiment succeeded, but what I can tell is that by the end of the week, there were many people sitting around the heart and hugging it.

The structure was not burned and was donated to a sustainability non-profit organization in Jerusalem and serves as a classroom until this day.

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