Intersection - an interactive installation

At the Savannah College of Art and Design on October 27, 2000, a group of computer arts students plus professor Miho Aohi and visiting artist Dave Robert from the Side Effects' San Francisco office presented Intersection, an interactive installation involving Houdini and other digital tools.

This is one of several installations where Dave has explored living plants attached to electrodes which feed signals to Houdini, which in turn drives live 3D graphics to visualize changing plant states.

Go to Intersection webpage.

Thoughts on Plant Human interaction from David Robert

Studies have been conducted where plants have responded to human touch, the human voice and even human thoughts. The more technologically advanced our culture becomes the more removed we seem from the natural environment. Plants interact with humans and other species but their language cannot be 'heard' by humans.

Quantam Physics suggests that every deed has a metaphysical, electrical response and that we are all living in the miasma of electrical energy produced by thoughts and actions. We are trying to resurrect the reaction of plants by tapping into them directly and recording their electrical impulses. Feeding these impulses back into our system or environment will link the auience with the concept that every living thing has a soul or vital being which must be protected. Saving species of plants is tantamount to saving ourselves.

To resuurect their language we will direct the current of a plant through a midi system utilizing Max, Houdini and Director X-tra software. The signal from the plant will be amplified and used to control and manipulate images and sounds.

Other elements will include touch sensors controlling the position and movement of text on a large projection and animated L-Systems. In this piece we are trying to address our relationship with both technology and nature. Language , the first technology caused the first break in our relationship to nature. The very act of naming plants caused a schism that has grown greater with all proceeding technologies. Through the act of directly linking in to the currents of nature and to some extent relinquishing control to these currents we hope to open up a dialogue about this relationship. In doing so we can perhaps begin to use technology to mend the rift, to recover the lost language of plants, and possibly save ourselves in the process.

A photograph from the intersection event...