The [HUMAN:NATURE] program interface in Megijima, Japan

Medium: film, interactive media, social practice
Location: Setouchi International Triennale / Megijima, Japan
Year: 2013

In the Summer of 2013, I had the opportunity to lead an amazing team — Suhee Kang, Johann Barbie, Song E Lee — along with nearly fifty Japanese volunteers in a project combining art, technology, and community interactions.

During two months as artists in residence at the Setouchi International Triennale, our team explored the connection between community and ecology on this small Japanese island of Megiima. We got to know dozens of the island’s families while producing an interactive documetary film about their cultural and ecological history, and connection to the land.

Photos from the production of HUMAN:NATURE on Megijima
Photos from the production of HUMAN:NATURE on Megijima

The project saw us producing video, portraiture, and landscape imagery based on the lore of the villagers and their connection to the land, media which was merged with agricultural and geographical data to create an interactive documentary that built on the project’s key ideas of human:nature connectivity.

On this island, in the liminal space between historical and contemporary Japan, the interactive documentary, along with a regional natural agriculture conference organized by our team and Aichi University of the Arts, helped visitors and islanders re-imagine roles within the vital social and ecological support systems of community and agriculture.

Related projects: Final Straw / Human:Nature Landscapes / Harvest

Exhibition Dates

July 20 — August 18
Setouchi International Triennale
MEGI House and Ryusen-So
Megi-cho, Takamatsu, Japan

August 25 — September 8
Aichi Triennale
Aichi University of Arts Museum
Nagoya, Aichi, Japan

Team Members

Patrick Lydon (USA) – Project Leader, Filming, Landscape Photography
Suhee Kang (Korea) – Portrait Photography
Johann Barbie (Germany) – Software Development
Songyi Lee (Korea) – Social Design


Professor Isao Suiz (Aichi University of Art), Ross McLean (Edinburgh College of Art), Ikumasa Hayashi, Kei Toh, Patrice Milillo, and Setouchi’s Team Koebi.


This project and software development is entirely open-source and available to the public. Our source code in development is available at: https://github.com/johannbarbie/MegijimaWebApp

Some images are available below, right-click (ctrl-click) to download high resolution versions. All images are made available under Creative Commons license (CC SA-BY 3.0, P.M. Lydon / Suhee Kang). Please observe terms of use before downloading.

Documentary Images

Production Images

Exhibition and Event Images


This project is arranged through a partnership between The University of Edinburgh – Edinburgh College of Art (Scotland), Aichi University of Arts (Japan), with help from the Setouchi International Triennale.

9 Replies to “[HUMAN:NATURE]”

  1. Hi Patrick,
    I find your project(s) really fascinating.
    I’m not sure I understand if one can see the project online.
    I followed the github link, but I’m not sure I understand what to do next.
    Thanks in advance.

    1. Hey David! The project was meant to be shown within the MegiHouse on the island, and then at another arts festival in Aichi so it is technically not really advertised, but if you shoot an email to my name @pmlydon.com I will be more than happy to send you a link to a working online beta.

      Megijima was a special time and place for us, and the local people were so kind and supportive. This project was a great start and I wish we could find the funding for more substantial projects which could have long-term positive effects there and in the region. It’s such a lovely place and there is so much which could be done there.

      At any rate, thanks for the note, hope to talk more soon.

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