FoAM videos re. plants, vegetal experience

FoAM videos re. plants, vegetal experience

Snoepwinkel: Inner Space

Borrowed Scenery: Silent Dialogues

Borrowed Scenery: Opening Electrified

Inner Garden
Stevie Wishart, Martin Howse, Viriditas Community Choir
International Society of Patobotany

FoAM and Vooruit join voices to create an inter-species choir, where plants and humans chant an ode to the greening force of nature and its continuous cycles of growth and decay. Visitors' voices and movement through the gardens complete the piece as a musical invocation to Hildegard's Viriditas - infinite greenness. From sunrise to sunset the choir filled the Victoriakas with sonic musings in Hildegard's unknown language: a lullaby sending nature to its winter sleep.

FoAM re vegetal life: Viriditas and Thalience

Viriditas and Thalience

by Maja Kuzmanovic, Nik Gaffney and FoAM

https://medium.com/invironment/groworld-c777f5c09c4f


The interconnectedness of the human and the vegetal has been a recurring, age-old theme in art, science and religion. Medieval healer and mystic Hildegard of Bingen wrote about plants radiating a greening life-force (Roth 2000), which she called viriditas. Any translation of viriditas into words and symbols would remain inadequate, but it is a phenomenon that can be viscerally experienced by most humans. Viriditas can be felt while walking through a lush forest, or picking leafy greens from a garden. It is the feeling of freshness and incomprehensible greenness, a quiet, elemental consciousness permeating all life. Sadly, the cultural values of our times seem to have strayed away from viriditas in favour of the active aspects of our animal attributes — speed, expansion, predation and consumption. The balance has tipped toward the bestial side of humanity at the expense of the vegetal. However, we can reacquaint ourselves with viriditas when we slow down, become still but acutely present, like a plant. We can witness viriditas in our own resilience, awareness, compassion and contemplation.

Most noble
 evergreen with your roots
 in the sun:
 you shine in the cloudless
 sky of a sphere no earthly
 eminence can grasp,
 enfolded in the clasp
 of ministries divine.
— Hildegard Von Bingen

While viriditas can be an experiential and spiritual muse of a vegetal human culture, for the analytically inclined a more empirical approach to the idea of vegetal sentience is needed (aside from the well-known psychedelic and shamanistic perspectives). Justifiably, before encouraging development of a vegetal mind in humans, we’d like to understand the plant’s point of view first, rather than modelling our human existence on an incomplete interpretation. We might want to engage with the botanical kingdom directly, and grasp how plants perceive and communicate. There are several examples from both mainstream and fringe science looking at plant perception, signalling and sentience. Daniel Chamovitz recently wrote about how plants experience and respond to the world (Chamovitz 2012). Plant neurobiology developed in the last decade as a scientific discipline researching plants’ signalling and adaptive behaviour (Barlow 2008). On the edges of scientific replicability, we find Clive Backster’s biocommunication experiments with a specimen of Dracena Massengeana connected to a polygraph (Backster 2003), or the imaginative crescographs by Jagdish Chandra Bose and Randall Fontes (Theroux 1997). These experiments look at plant growth and movement in response to external stimuli, and attempt to understand plant perception and communication.

Venturing to communicate with plants would require humans to grasp the logic of the “vegetal mind.” Plant consciousness would no doubt be considered alien and impossible to perceive without assistance. This is where knowledge of human-computer interaction might be informative. The field of computer science has developed a variety of methods to determine the nature of machine mind by comparing it to the human mind (the Turing test being the best known example). However, it is quite anthropocentrically arrogant to think that human sentience, perception and behaviour is the only possible expression of consciousness. Why measure sentience by how well it mirrors that of humans? Nature may contain a myriad of disparate sentiences, operating according to their own internally consistent, externally incomprehensible logic. We might be “hearing their voices” daily, but having no sensory and mental capacity to translate and interpret their meaning. Perhaps we should focus our energies on “an attempt to give the physical world itself a voice so that rather than us asking what reality is, reality itself can tell you” (Schroeder, retrieved 2008). Writer Karl Schroeder called this “post-scientific” communication with non-human sentient beings “thalience.” A plant-inspired culture could benefit from getting to know its verdant neighbours from a range of perspectives, including direct and unmediated experience, moving away from teleological, utilitarian and reductionist analyses of human relationships with plants. Schroeder talks about “non-human intelligences who come to different conclusions about what the universe [is] like” (Schroeder, retrieved 2008). Plants are such “non-human intelligences” with whom we share the same universe, yet the way in which they experience the world remains beyond our grasp.

We have nothing in common with the Geometers. No shared experiences, no common culture. Until that changes, we can’t communicate with them. Why not? Because language is nothing more than a stream of symbols that are perfectly meaningless until we associate them, in our minds, with meaning; a process of acculturation. Until we share experiences with the Geometers, and thereby begin to develop a shared culture — in effect, to merge our culture with theirs — we cannot communicate with them, and their efforts to communicate with us will continue to be just as incomprehensible as the gestures they’ve made so far.
— Neal Stephenson

At the intersections of culture, gardening and technology we can start to see how plants can become organisational principles for human society in the turbulent times of the 21st century. Although we may need to scavenge at the fringes of contemporary society, we can observe many healing effects that humans can have on their surroundings through a symbiotic collaboration with plants. Some fight desertification and remediate industrial wastelands through natural farming and permaculture. Others design whole lifecycle, closed-loop technological and architectural systems inspired by natural processes, based on the art and science of biomimicry. Yet, these are scattered examples. We still don’t have widespread methods to improve wasteful, often counter-productive human behaviours. How do we encourage broader, longer-term cultural changes? What varieties of culture would be capable of forging symbiotic relationships between postindustrial human societies and the rest of the earth? How do we compost bitterness to grow beauty?

From these questions and assertions sprouted the groWorld initiative, a long-term inquiry into human-plant interactions and their effect on the longevity of human culture. The people of FoAM — a distributed laboratory for speculative culture — initiated groWorld to “minimise borders and maximise edges” between the man-made and the vegetal. In these zones of liminality and ambiguity, groWorld abets “unholy alliances” between contemporary culture and cultivation, building and growing, botany and technology. Inspired by the way in which plant species propagate – spanning multiple temporal layers – the initiative encompasses both long- and short-term explorations. The slow processes of cultural adaptation and plant cultivation are researched across several decades, through observation and interaction. At the same time, quick technological and social changes are incorporated through techno-artistic experiments in three interconnected branches: {sym}, {bio} and {sys}. The {sym} branch looks at how human culture can be infused with vegetal characteristics: in botanical fiction, plant games, active materials, and responsive environments. The {bio} branch is about a direct collaboration with plants, using age-old techniques of foraging and gardening and seeing cities as edible landscapes for humans and non-humans. Finally, {sys} deals with botanically-inspired technologies that can help humans engage with plants beyond the physical level, through sensing, perception and perhaps even communication.

Through a cross-fertilisation of {sym}{bio}{sys}, groWorld merges digital culture with environmentalism. Both approaches promote empowerment of trans-local communities and are rooted in self-reliant maker-cultures, yet they don’t often mingle. groWorld encourages their interaction by bringing programmers and gardeners, gamers and botanists together on the common ground of the arts. Together, they create hybrids of gardening and technology, or narrative realities where human and vegetal can merge into a unified, hybrid culture.



https://medium.com/invironment/groworld-c777f5c09c4f
___________________________________________________________ 
Sha Xin Wei • +1-650-815-9962 • skype: shaxinwei

Re: SERRA _ ripe _ new concept _1903

vegetal.posthaven.com  is now passworded: serra,

Nina i’ve added you as Contributor.

Here again is Oana’s description of the lovely set idea, minimally edited:

Entering the space, one sees a bright overarching ceiling and on the ground a series of reflective surfaces, or luminous ‘pools’. The ceiling is a large projection surface on which one perceives images of plants in motion taken from a low angle perspective (as if we were lying half a meter below the ground). However, the proximity to the ceiling should make it difficult to clearly read the images when standing up. From this position, one should be prompted to rather turn their sight towards the floor. On the floor, the pools of water reflect the same accelerated images of plants seen on the ceiling, yet stopping to look at them triggers the images to slow down to the threshold of barely perceptible motion, plant movement as perceived in human time. The surrounding walls are dark and the floor is occasionally vibrating from the stimuli retransmitted by transducers, which makes the water surface ripple at times. On the ground, large cushions (or a slight ramp) invites the passerby to rest. If one lays down, they can clearly see looking up the plants moving, reacting to one another and to the presence of the observers. From this perspective, where the human body is at rest, one sees the movement in another temporality, plant time

Maybe 5  lotus pad sized reflecting pools, in any case roughly as many pools as # people in room’s idea capacity 


On Mar 23, 2017, at 4:17 PM, oana suteu khintirian <khintirian@gmail.com> wrote:

hi all,

Let me share with you the new concept for the design of SRRA_ripe and please let me know what your think! Would a quick skype on Friday be possible?

best
Oana

Oana Suteu Khintirian: SERRA _ ripe _ new concept _1903

Entering the space, one sees a bright overarching ceiling and on the ground a series of reflective surfaces, or luminous ‘pools’. The ceiling is a large projection surface on which one perceives images of plants in motion taken from a low angle perspective (as if we were lying half a meter below the ground). However, the proximity to the ceiling should make it difficult to clearly read the images when standing up. From this position, one should be prompted to rather turn their sight towards the floor. On the floor, the pools of water reflect the same accelerated images of plants seen on the ceiling, yet stopping to look at them triggers the images to slow down to the threshold of barely perceptible motion, plant movement as perceived in human time. The surrounding walls are dark and the floor is occasionally vibrating from the stimuli retransmitted by transducers, which makes the water surface ripple at times. On the ground, large cushions (or a slight ramp) invites the passerby to rest. If one lays down, they can clearly see looking up the plants moving, reacting to one another and to the presence of the observers. From this perspective, where the human body is at rest, one sees the movement in another temporality, plant time

hi all,

Let me share with you the new concept for the design of SRRA_ripe and please let me know what your think! Would a quick skype on Friday be possible?

best
Oana

Serra set design, update coming

Oana’s latest insight over last few hours
on the set design for Serra’ is quite beautiful.  
I just heard about it and will let Oana describe it herself !

It has conceptual crispness — 
a lot of experiential aspects click into place — 
and it seems buildable.   

As a resonance:
it also leads me to re-understand a most cherished poem: 
Dylan Thomas’ The force that through the green fuse drives the flower,
which comes into play in the last two pages of my book,
on ethico-aesthetic play and the re-enchantment of the world.






Gratefully

elegant mappings of motion into graphics by Tobias Grumbler

Jitter artists:

Tobias Gremmler’s elegant, straightforward mappings of motion into graphic renderings could be a nice inspiration for 
mocap —> jitter if we can figure how to work with a sparse set of trackers.


The quality suggests it is not realtime, but this is useful for ideas for jitter instruments that should be doable in Max 7 / gen.
The primitives are lines and points, so not very challenging to render on gpu.   We don’t have the density.   

Could be time to implement camera-based tracker-free mocap as jitter externals.





________________________________________________________________________________________
skype: shaxinwei • mobile: +1-650-815-9962
_________________________________________________________________________________________________


________________________________________________________________________________________
Sha Xin Wei, PhD • Professor and Director • School of Arts, Media and Engineering + Synthesis
Herberger Institute for Design and the Arts + Fulton Schools of Engineering • ASU
Fellow: ASU-Santa Fe Center for Biosocial Complex Systems
Affiliate Professor: Future of Innovation in Society; Computer Science; English
Founding Director, Topological Media Lab
skype: shaxinwei • mobile: +1-650-815-9962
_________________________________________________________________________________________________

the best carbon sequestering system in the world, solutionism

Forest : the best carbon sequestering system in the world
https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/energy-environment/wp/2016/02/11/the-solution-to-climate-change-that-has-nothing-to-do-with-cars-or-coal/?tid=a_inl

vs

Tech-based solutions limited by framing assumptions, such as:

assumptions include:
solution by novel technology 
no change in car and airplane travel
no change in consumer behavior 
no change in commodity-based markets

Engineering research implies
(1) new technology rather than non-technological considerations;
(2) the solutions have to be “new”
(3) Solutionism : the drive to find a “solution” to a "problem" rather than 
determine and achieve socio-economic-symbolic conditions 
under which the problem does not even arise. 


All good approaches are welcome.  But how shall we tackle things in proportion to their strategic importance from cosmopolitical, ecological-economic, biosocial, historic as well as poetic-symbolic perspectives?