Bion, which has been reviewed on a few weblogs now (such as We Make Money Not Art and Networked Performance) has similarities with works mentioned here before such as
Crash and Bloom and Cell Phone Disco. It combines to great effect (here both audio-visually unlike the mentioned works) the clever networked capabilities of both, that is responding to user presence and the activity of each modular part of the work.
Bion is an interactive art installation that explores the relationship between humans and artificial life. The name makes reference to an individual element of primordial biological energy identified as orgone by the scientist Wilhelm Reich (1897-1957). The installation is a sensor network that is composed of 1000 3-dimensional glowing and chirping sculptural forms. Each bion, measuring approximately 4x3x2.5 inches is a synthetic “life-form” consisting of a tiny computer, an audio speaker, blue light emitting diodes, and multiple sensors. These sensor units have the ability to communicate with, and react to, the bions around them and the viewers that enter the space.
Below is a video from the works website showing it installed at the Stephenson Research and Technology Center in America.