«In an age of anthropogenic global warming and genetically modified organisms, not to mention Big Data and world-encompassing computing and communications networks, it makes no sense to oppose nature to culture, or a “state of nature” to human society, or the natural to the artificial.» (Steven Shaviro)
We live in a world where all efficient agriculture is connected to informational systems and specialized software. The cities are covered with overlapping Wi-Fi networks; the ocean floor is covered with numerous fiber optic cables.
My project addresses communication of plants and one of the possible paths to the emergence of the Internet of everything: the darknet of plants. Its node is exposed to the Tor network portal: flora.onion.
Existing system of constant interaction with the arrays of data and multiple connections to them creates conditions for emergence of new functional communicative elements, cyborgs – fragments of synthetic biology, created by microoperations and internal communications.
New hybrid vegetal organisms form their own communication network connected to the existing human-made data networks. They bypass firewalls, use their own wired and wireless channels of data transmission and establish datacenters in the roots. Co-operating with other forms of biological life, they grow learning neural networks. Plants get to know each other through existing social networks in a hidden from humans way. Thus, the most oppressed and prone to the genetic modifications kingdom of living organisms takes an evolutionary leap and gets integrated in the social and cultural spheres.
Embroidery, objects made out of luminous fiber.
Images of plants has traditionally been the motive of applied arts, mostly created by women. Ada Lolelace was the first software developer, the author of commands for the Analytical Machine of Charles Babbage. Sewing is a lot like writing code, thus my phantom images of cyber plants are embroidered with luminous thread. The nature of this material relates plant stems with the fiber optic cables and information transmission channels our cyberspace is sewn from. The root system of embroideries is connected to the Yggdrasil object, permeated with the blood vessels of the luminous streams. In the Norse cosmology, Yggdrasil is a mythical tree that connects the nine worlds. World wide web, connecting everyone, is woven of threads that the light slides over. It is our reality to a greater extent than reality itself.
video, 6 min
On the video the observer could see the flight over the green belt with the purpose of determining the hotbeds of cyberflora. The trickling sound at the background of video refers both to the language of plants and to the high-speed transmission of financial data.
Our entire economy is built around financial transactions, most of them produced by the high-speed stock trading algorithms. The sound of the line of idling ATMs at the bank office seems to be an appropriate background for the contemplating growing raw material for the paper money production.