+ Rense Notenboom & Stijn van Vilsteren
Can something synthetic feel more alive than something organic?
People go about their everyday lives being surrounded by plants. We like taking care of them because we like having them around. It is not uncommon that one will get emotionally attached to a plant. Some people talk to them and some even sing to them under the belief that it makes them grow and be “happy”. But what it even means for a plant to be happy? A plant cannot identify itself. We project our own emotions onto it, or at least, the emotions that we would have if we were in its place; we identify it in relation to our own nature. We regularly act towards plants but what if they act towards us in response?
Hard-wired is an interactive installation that uses a plant's biosignal and perceptualizes it through LED light patterns and colors. When the plant is in a rest phase, its biosignal is slow and calm but when one touches it or moves around it, it accelerates and becomes uneven. We traced these changes and created a space that those subtle interactions could be enhanced and perceived by the visitors.