DIY, plant!

DIY, plant!

Posted On: September 9, 2010
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The “DIY, plant!” research project (by Sander Veenhof) aims to design a multitouchscreen interface for plants so they can control their supply of water and light themselves by pressing touchscreen-button controls with their leaves.

“For a while how, there has been a rise in the amount of bio-art projects connecting pieces of living nature to mechanical or computerized environments. It is a popular approach in times when digitally there aren’t any limits or boundaries anymore. Everything is possible, and nothing really excites. The involvement of insects, animals or plants into art projects provides new difficulties to solve, thereby re-challenging artists. And their audiences. With spectators becoming largely indifferent to faster or bigger or newer technologies, the touchscreen-plant arouses the attention of an audience because of its contrast to our digitized contemporary world and its ultimate slowness. An upcoming button press could be a cliffhanger of days.

But the “DIY, plant!” project is more than an application of bio-art for the sake of the spectacle. Beyond the visually intriguing form is a bio-art piece focused on achieving truly functional dynamics between plant and technology. Acknowledging the extreme complexity of true scientific biological adaptations of the involved plant, and foremostly, respecting the wisdom that nature does possess, the approach taken is not aimed at changing nature and forcing the needs of a touchscreen onto a plant, but the plant is taken as the point of reference, and the interface is being reshaped and refined according to the plants’ needs.”

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