An orchid is rigged up to a device that measures its electrical output
The psychogalvonometer, which takes the pulse, is in turn linked to Arduino, which translates the electric impulses into Max MSP, which in turn fishes out the sounds and notes through computer RAM that amplifies the sequences of the sounds and transmites them across acoustic speakers.
The (artistic) work does not end with the installation nor with the theoretical exposition: Being an “art of research” it is conceived as a genuine research work that postulates theories and hypotheses and explores them with a pragmatic “experimentum.” Given its research quality, the work seeks its own scientific basis and the paper follows the rules of scientific publications from both the formal and substantive points of view. The theoretical research thus cannot be split off from the work of artistic exploration.
In this perspective, the artist is equivalent to a researcher who exits from the framework of recognized aesthetics – understanding aesthetics in the general culture sense, replete with cultural norms – and places himself on the frontier of knowledge and the effort to re-sensualize man.
The relation between the apparatus and the machine is the same relation as holds between metaphysics and practice. The paper outlines its assumptions and the operating backdrop (metaphysics); but, as the hermeneutic relation set up by the communication of the plant transformed into music (pragmatic) is activated, one has to see the alterity (the plant) as an ethical subject. And do this one has to read the paper as it tells the story of a certain kind of ecology and arrives at a famous U.S. court verdict and paper 'Do the trees have standings'? that recognized the trees of a forest as damaged parties in a civil suit, thus recognizing they have a de facto a telos and ethos and hence identifying them as individual holders of rights.
The central theme of the work is the pragmatic practice of communication and the end of the humanistic paradigm, that is, the world understood in terms of human centrality in nature. In an era in which cybernation has given us moist technologies – hybrid chips in which “dry” silicon meets “wet” biology – we are beginning to understand that the forms of biological life have their own languages, cultures and feelings, and that our relation with them can only be mediated by a kind of cultural bargaining that goes beyond what are construed as the typical human confines.
Man will, in the end, necessarily have to overcome humanism with a new approach to nature and technologies.