Bloom is a bio-acoustic, immersive, animation installation about our relationship with the plant world including the measurement, analysis and representation of bioacoustics data exchanged between plants and their environment. How and why plants communicate bio- acoustically is not well understood nor documented, however it is known that they do so in order to relay information about their neighbors and the conditions of their environment to each other. It utilizes the research of evolutionary biologist Monica Gagliano, at the University of Western Australia, who studies their communication and records and analyzes both the sounds they make and their responses to sounds they hear or feel through vibrations.
According to Gagliano “Plants produce sound waves in the lower end of the audio range as well as an overabundance of ultrasonic sounds. Over the last 35 year, these ultrasonic emissions have been measured and described numerous times. By capturing the ultrasonic signals emitted by plants under different environmental conditions, I am exploring the ecological significance of these sounds to communication among plants and between plants and other organisms.”
This paper will describe the making of the sound art installation Bloom and its influences including the visual representation of plants and flowers in the past and present by artists, photographers and botanists. It will reflect what we currently know and understand about plant processes, lifecycles and environmental purposes and how plant representation might change in the future when their bio-acoustic interactions with each other and their environment are more deeply and widely understood; enhancing both our view of plants and their purposes, enabling them with their rightly deserved more dynamic roles.
The artwork Bloom will combine sped up time lapsed, animated, photo derived images of different species of flowers from the gardens in the NYC area (Central Park, Brooklyn and Bronx Botanical Gardens) as they travel through their lifecycles, projected as an animated grid pattern onto one or multiple walls which will be synched to a database matrix of bio-acoustic recordings of representative individual growth/ lifecycle patterns.