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Soft Something

Matt Barton

Soft Something is an immersive installation by Colorado Springs-based artist Matt Barton. This artwork alludes to the idea of greater interconnectedness by bringing together humans, aquatic lifeforms, and plants into a singular environment. Within the exhibition’s dynamic atmosphere, viewers are positioned as participants – invited to relax, reflect, and explore; in turn, blurring the boundary between a gallery, greenhouse, and sanctuary.

At the entry of the exhibition is a custom-built aquaponics installation, where visitors find an integrated system composed of aquaculture (raising fish) and hydroponics (the soil-less growing of plants in water). In this symbiotic system, the fish waste provides an organic food source for the plants, and the plants naturally filter the water for the fish. Building on this network, Barton’s addition of experimental sound and sensing technologies channel the plants’ response to the interior conditions by transmitting audio to visitors.

Altogether, Soft Something breaks through the traditional division between humans and nature, all under Barton’s vision of creating a restorative and healing space where systems support each other.

Special thanks to our funding partners: Bonfils-Stanton Foundation, Community First Foundation, Denver Arts & Venues, Downtown Denver Business Improvement District, Downtown Denver Partnership, McWHINNEY, P.S. You Are Here, Sage Hospitality, and VISIT DENVER.

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