A visual artist, inter-disciplinarian, storyteller, illustrator, and technologist, Shilo Shiv Suleman brings together nature, art, and technology to transform the way we interact with ourselves, each other, and the world.
Combating isolation caused by technology, Shilo instead uses technology such as biofeedback and touch screens to engage participants and viewers – immersing them in a world of magical realism, creating moments of wonder and awe. Whether it be a grove of 12ft tall trees that come to life with your breath, a Steve Wozniak approved app that send children on quests in nature, or a sculpture that changes with tidal patterns, her tactile and/or responsive pieces of art are characterized by beauty, abundance, and interconnectivity.
Recognized by Rolling Stone, BBC, and Techcrunch for her interactive artwork, Shilo’s installations explore wonders of the body and express the relationship between body and nature. Pulse and Bloom, called one of the “most incredible works of Burning Man art ever made”, visualizes the biosynchronicity between participants through glowing lotuses; while the trees in Grove breathe in as participants breathe out showing the symbiotic relationship between our breath and nature.
Her gallery work and illustrations are inspired by mythology and stories, while drawing attention to self-awareness, interpersonal and universal connectivity. In Brindavan and Beloved, she explores ideas of body, nature, and intimacy with embroidered petals, laser-cut metal, and poetry hand-painted in gold. With Khoya, an interactive ipad app, children are sent outdoors on quests related to Indian myths and rituals.
Shilo’s stage designs, she brings to life the ideas and magic to take place on stage by performers and speakers. For TED, panels of silk were illustrated with the essence of the Indian Archetypes in the quest to share their ideas with TED audiences; while at NH7 Weekender – one of India’s largest music festivals, she became the cartographer for the diverse musical universe that audiences would experience, with a stage that included giant metal 3D animal constellations, and an LED screen projecting star studded skies.
Sprinkling magic onto people’s lives with gold paint, Shilo Shiv Suleman represents the future of art – one in which art is an immersive experience and technology brings us closer to nature and each other.
In addition to her work as a technologist and artist, she is a social activist use arts for social change and healing as the founder of the Fearless Collective.
Pulse and Bloom is an interactive and social art installation that creates group experiences of magical synchronicity. The installation visualizes participants’ heartbeats and invites people to share and sync their human heartbeats in a rhythmic pattern. Remembering the ancient philosophers and mystics that speak of the human heart as the vehicle for union between individual and environment, Pulse and Bloom recreates this experience through modern heart-quantifying biosensors embedded within public art.
Named one of the top 50 installations at Burning Man ever, Pulse and Bloom consists of up to 20 lotuses of varying heights of 10 to 14 feet with pulse sensors mounted on the base of the stem. When a participant places their hand upon the pulse sensor, the stem and the flower in the sky start to beat with their heart. Furthermore, when more than one person places their hand upon the pulse sensor, the stem starts to pulse with both participants’ heartbeats, making it possible to watch how heart rates of different people in intimate spaces start to beat in sync, much like fireflies flashing in patterns.
Grove is an interactive installation that is a reflection on the interdependence of breath. A magical forest of low hanging metal trees, the forest breathes with you through custom created breath sensors, reminding us of the constant interdependent relationship of breath we’re in with the forests around us. Every time we breathe in, we inhale the ‘out breath’ of a tree around us, placing ourselves a constant state of union between the macroforest outside, and the microforest of alveoli within our lungs
Each tree is made of intricately cut laser petals and leaves, breath sensors that combine humidity and flow sensors, mechanical flowers with proximity sensors that open as you approach them, and an LED forest undergrowth that encourages you to breathe at an optimal rate for meditation. As you breathe out, the tree fills with breath represented by LEDs.
Shilo is currently working on new large scale interactive art installations that respond to “Forces of Nature,” in addition to developing commissioned site-specific interactive art installations.
Shilo Shiv Suleman’s current gallery work – Beloved is an exploration of Nature and Intimacy. Through ‘Beloved’, she explores the hypothesis that perhaps the greater longing is to be united not just with the beloved, but with nature itself. The exhibition consists of works in several mediums, including wood-cut murals, watercolor paintings, and an interactive art installation.
“When I was a child I used to believe that I was in constant communication and conversation with the natural world. The moon followed me home at night; the clouds would hide shapes for me. When one grows up and falls in love, this relationship with nature is intensified. We give flowers to our lovers, have butterflies in our stomach when touched.
And Nature responds too, the Wind caresses, the waves rise and fall and lap up against the shore; we are brushed by leaves and cradled by the earth.”
Shilo Shiv Suleman brings magical realism to her stage designs, while incorporating the theme and energy of the event to which her work provides the backdrop. Her work incorporates multiple mediums including animations projected on LED screen, laser-cutting, metal work, hand illustrations, and more. Shilo’s designs have been seen on the stages of India’s biggest music festivals, TED, the INK Conference, and more.