Leonardo Abstract Services (LABS) 2010-2011
The Sensorial Invisibility of Plants: An Interdisciplinary Inquiry through Bio Art and Plant Neurobiology
The thesis, titled ‘The Sensorial Invisibility of Plants: An Interdisciplinary Inquiry through Bio Art and Plant Neurobiology’, is an interdisciplinary art practice-related research that focuses on the complexities in recognising plant behaviour. It explores the contradistinction between scientific studies that reveal cognitive capacities in plants and our subjective perceptions where plants appear motionless and devoid of sensation.
The difficulties inherent in perceiving plants’ interactions with their environment are concerned with physiological processes in plants, their morphological adaptations and temporal disparities. Thus, techno-scientific interfaces utilising genomic and electrophysiological approaches offer unprecedented scopes to extend our perceptual boundaries and reveal plants’ behavioural qualities.
In biological art practices, scientific approaches and methodologies are deployed to empathetically explore intrinsic biological expressions in plants through aesthetics, genetics and electrophysiology. The thesis critically examines issues thrown up when scientific strategies are incorporated into artworks by questioning the role of the interfaces (i.e. green fluorescent protein or electrodes) and their authenticity in revealing aspects of plant responses and expressions.
The practical aspects of the research draw on experimental approaches (using time-lapse, fluorescence and nanotechnology) to modulate plant motion into our frame of reference. In doing so, it investigates whether our subjective experience can be consolidated with the sensorial image of plants emerging from the sciences.
Accompanying the written thesis is a visual documentation of the research’s practical component in the form of a multimedia DVD.
University: University College London (UCL)
Supervisor: Dr Mark Lythgoe
Dept: Slade School of Fine Art (in interdisciplinary capacity with the Centre for Advanced Biomedical Imaging)
Copyright: Laura Cinti
Keywords: bio art, plants, plant neurobiology, art science, interfaces, sensoriality
LEONARDO ABSTRACTS SERVICE (LABS) is a comprehensive collection of Ph.D., Masters and MFA thesis abstracts on topics in the emerging intersection between art, science and technology.
If you are interested you can submit your abstract to the English LABS, Spanish LABS, Chinese LABS and French LABS international Peer Review Panels for inclusion in their respective databases. The authors of abstracts most highly ranked by the panel will also be invited to submit an article for consideration for publication in the refereed journal Leonardo.