Bio-Sensing Art in the 1970s

Brainwave and plant music from The Secret Life of Plants, 1976.
[ Brainwave and plant music from The Secret Life of Plants, 1976. ]

Artist and eco-systems designer Richard Lowenberg discusses his pioneering efforts in bio-sensing art and his proposition for a slow-tech movement in an interview at Data Garden.

Mr. Lowenberg worked with Woody and Steina Vasulka at their "Kitchen" space in New York, devising EEG biofeedback systems to integrate with audio/video synthesizers. By the mid-70s' he had moved to the San Francisco Bay Area to collaborate with scientists at NASA Ames Research Center. It was during that time he worked on a number of sequences for the The Secret Life of Plants film.

Radio Event No. 20: Rhododendron (October 18, 1972)

Early bio-sensing electronics wiz Tom Zahuranec invited an audience to a special radio event situated in the KPFA Music Office. Tom had wired a Rhododendron with liquid electrode sensors which were amplified and fed into the oscillators of a Buchla Synthesizer. The plant itself acted as a conduit between the studio environment and supposedly- the psychology of surrounding participants. Far-out commentary was provided by Tom and curious listeners who dropped in on the happening.

Images of Tim and his 'plant amplifier' can be found at Data Garden.

( via Henry Platt )

Pulsu(m) Plantae

Imagen PulsumPlantae

My acquaintance Leslie Garcia, from Tijuana Mexico, has been working on a plant sonification project analogous to those here at Dragonline Studios.

Develop self-sustaining sound devices, designed as hybrid systems, from the integration of a living organism (plant) and an interface address (biosensors) to create a network-based motif in coded language sound frequencies. Project in process

Her work was recently exhibited and a large amount of documentation is up on the site for the Pulsu(m) Plantae project, original in Español, English translation by Google Translate.

The singing plants of Damanhur

Can plants be conscious? My friend Cleve Backster thought so. Watch this striking short video and it will answer that question. It's a totally remarkable clip, with enormous implications.

Plants can be wired to musical synthesizers and heard actually altering the sounds and creating their own melodies consciously. Here is a video made by the commune of Damanhur.
Listen now to the "sound" of conscious awareness. It's delightful to behold!

( via The Renegade Guru )

ENCODE - New insight into Human DNA

The first wave of papers on a massive research project delving deeper into Human DNA were released on September 5th. The project, started in 2003 and entitled ENCODE, involved 440 scientists from 32 laboratories around the globe.

When the Human Genome Project completed its mapping in 2001, scientists thought that only 2% of Human DNA was used, the rest thought to be evolutionary leftovers. Based on the preliminary reports just released, it appears that 80% or more is active. Most of what had been previously discovered were the genes directly responsible for encoding proteins. The new mappings reveal a much larger set of gene 'switches' used to control the protein encoding genes.

The revelation of gene switches allows for entirely new approaches in research around cancer, genetic disorders and a host of other areas.

An explorer for the papers published is at ENCODE on the Nature site.

An iPad app is also available Nature ENCODE

( via The New York Times )