Temporary public art. Australian art.Betty Sargeant australian art

When AI turns 3D: Our not-too-distant Future.

Picture this: A grove of fluorescent pink trees suddenly appears in the middle of nature. Where did it come from?

THE FAUXREST is a temporary public artwork featuring a fake forest that’s installed in the centre of a real outdoor natural environment. This arrestingly beautiful audio-visual artwork is a ficto-factual commentary on what can happen when AI controls 3D public spaces. THE FAUXREST places audiences in the centre of machine learning futures.

At a time when AI impersonates humans, this artwork is presented by an artist, Betty Sargeant, who impersonates a machine. THE FAUXREST is presented as a public artwork that’s been imagined, funded, developed and installed by AI. Betty Sargeant playfully suggests that the art piece is entirely realised by computing systems with no human intervention. THE FAUXREST invites audiences to consider how future AI could create public art and independently shape our public spaces.

THE FAUXREST is an extraordinary audio-visual feast. This project places audiences in the centre of an immersive synthetic grove of trees, located in a natural wild space. THE FAUXREST invites audiences to become active participants in a progressive ficto-factual AI provocation.

Temporary public art. Australian art.Betty Sargeant australian art
Betty Sargeant THE FAUXREST 2024 installation mock-up

THE FAUXREST features vertical aluminium poles 3cms in diameter and 1.8-4.2m high. The textured surface of the aluminium replicates tree bark. They are painted intense fluorescent pink, in stark contrast to the surrounding natural environment.


Dr. Betty Sargeant (she/they) is an internationally acclaimed media-artist whose practice operates at the intersection of art, technology and environmental science. Her immersive and public artworks confront the critical concerns of our time. Sargeant uses sculptural techniques and the medium of light to help audiences create closer connections to their surrounding natural environment. 

Sargeant’s artworks have enjoyed extensive exhibition both at home and abroad, including commissioned works for the National Taiwan Museum of Fine Arts, the Karachi Biennale, Pakistan, and the Asia Culture Centre, South Korea. Sargeant has a solo and collaborative practice. She has previously worked under the studio name PluginHUMAN with Justin Dwyer and Yorta Yorta artist Lorraine Brigdale.

Sargeant has been the Melbourne Knowledge Fellow and was creator-in-residence at the Asia Culture Centre, South Korea. She is a recipient of the Good Design Award and a Premier’s Design Award in recognition of her progressive creative practice. As the Rupert Bunny Fellow she developed artwork biopolymers.

Sargeant has been working with machine learning since 2015. In 2016 she delivered her multi-award-winning interactive installation THE STORYTELLING MACHINE. This involved working with a team to design a false AI: an automated system that appeared to make creative determinations. Sargeant currently trains machine learning models in-order-to diversify the ways that humans and nature are represented within AI generated materials. She regularly speaks and appears on panels internationally about the future of AI.


BETTY SARGEANT: Artist and producer.