The singing plant

Roskilde Festival 2004, Halfmachine 2004, MINE - Tingbæk kalkminer 2005, Botanical Garden 2007 & Robots at Play 2008 (June 2004)

The singing plant is an interactive sound and light installation using a living green house plant as the sole interactive interface element. It is based upon one of the first electronic musical instruments - the theremin, named after its inventor, the Russian professor Léon Theremin. The theremin works by sending an AC signal to an antenna and measuring the attenuation and distortion of the signal by the watery capacitance of a human body nearby.

The setup

Normally the antenna is metal but in the Singing Plant, a plant is used as the antenna. The water in the plant conducts well enough to make this possible, however great care in calibration is required as the electrical characteristics of the plant and its soil change with varying wetness. When properly calibrated, the theremin-plant acts as a touch and proximity sensor which controls pitch and volume. In the concrete installation, the sound was modulated through several filters to give a richer and more variable soundscape.

Digital Art in a Limestone Mine..

###Credits Mads Hobye, Nicolas Padfield, Schack Lindemann, Thomas Jørgensen, Thor Lentz and Åsmund Boye Kverneland.

Done with members of