de planten aan de praat krijgen

Work in process || can i build an Orchestra played by plants and directed by the computer?



In the 1970’s many experiments around the possible mind of plants were executed. Most of these experiments evolved around the discovery that a Polygraph, hooked up to a plant, gave significant values and valuechanges when the plant was being exposed to stress.

I make use of this knowledge, that in a scientific sense hit the wall after a few years of research. I am interessted in picking up the question in my way and see if, through my interpretation, plants could be used as living data input to enhance electronicaly produced music or visual imagery. Maybe i can find the secret to a natural pace.

I have made process with this experiment. I have made two coversation pieces in which the plants were creating different sorts of soundscapes. The human presence in proximity to the plants had an influence on the behaviour of the soundscape.



By measuring the plants in different ways I am able to give them some kind of voice. As I am explaining the concepts to one or more participients, a conversation evolves that can be close to the theme or quite far off. Until now I have had many very different experiences within the created multisensory experience.


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To make it what I call it I use the auditory sense as “main” sense. It is the first one – and the most activated one – of the senses we own. After the visual of course. By adding soundreactive vibrations and tactile interaction with the plants the experience gets broadened and pulled away from the pure audiovisual experience. The visitor becomes one with the story in that momentual sense of body, space and time – and thus experiences the perception of the true present.

The experiments so far have taught me, that the intimate setup is able to break down borders quite easily and is leading to a conversation, that could be reffered to as a story being told not by me but by the interaction. It is always the same – yet always different.