Some thoughts on Jakob Von Uexküll

"Nature may be compared to a composer who listens to his own works played on an instrument of his own construction. This results in a strangely reciprocal relationship between nature, which has created man, and man, who not only in his art and science, but also in his experiential universe, has created nature. [...] The formula of the reciprocal relationship between man, who must, in his self-world, create nature, and nature, which has brought forth the human species, requires us to consider the relationship between sign processes in nature and in language."

T. von Uexküll 1992: 281, 282

This quote got me thinking on Architecture and our artificial umwelt. Whenever we start thinking about human's umwelt we want to think of nature, the sky, the green grass and woods that surround us, the seas and every organism that lives in the planet. We have guarded ourselves from this nature though. Since humans began to create a social world for themselves they created and built and artificial world to protect themselves from their own environment (natural "disasters"). Architecture is the simplest and most primitive example of an artificial umwelt. Humans became designers of their own umwelt, we have destroyed it, appreciate it and feel it.

Project

I wanted to work with music and bacteria and that lead me to find works of people who tried to influence another organisms through music, one of the most common examples is plants. I found information of people that claimed that classical music helped their plants grow better. This lead me to find more about the electrical signals in plants, plants do have electrical signals and can feel (to call it somehow). Many people has being studying and experimenting with this idea or at least the idea of making music through plants and its electrical signals. Here are some examples:

Sound Builders

Music with Apples and Plants

Music with Vegetables

An perhaps the most in shape pieces of art:

RIXC Book

Vanda by Mateusz Herczka

Based on the lecture of Jakob von Uexküll and the first idea that came to me about architecture being the simplest form of artificial umwelt, I broke apart the word "artificial" "art" and "fiction". And I found a very interesting meaning there. I'm still trying to figure out in which direction I want to take this, but I believe there is something interesting in its depths.

What to do?

I want to analyze the electrical signals from the plant Mimosa Pudica, a plant that is characterized for its sensitivity to touch. Coming from those analysis, I want to give them a sound, better said, translate these electrical signals to music and then create an artificial piece of music to see if I can make Mimosa pudica react to these sounds in a positive and visible way through its leaves. This to me would be a very special way of creating an artificial umwelt for the plant.

Things to think about...

Umwelt from the plant: light, water (humidity), temperature and nutrition. For mimosa pudica we can add the touch of another living thing.

Links of inspiration

Revival of Organisms

Perceptions of a Plant... Could this be true?

A little experiment

Useful information about electrical signals in plants

Experiments

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Test

Growing Physarum

I started growing physarum but it didn't work. They got contaminated, perhaps form the area where they are growing or from the food I gave them. I need to be more careful

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