A collection of videos and other ressources on research within intelligence in nature. This is a living blogpost – while I am building my thesis on sentient robotic plants at ITP NYU, I will post videos and research responses and loose thoughts here. Most of my research and experiments currently lives on a non-public blog at NYU and I will be migrating it here slowly in the next couple of months.
The Hidden life of trees (link) by Peter Wohlleben
Gingko – the tree that time forgot (link) by Peter Crane
On fungal networks
… which allow trees to pass information and nutrients to each other in the soil making up what has been called the internet of the forrest.
On research made in the field by foresters
A few thoughts.
In these COVID days humans discover how important connections between species are. How they can be taken for granted in everyday life. How important communication is. We stay sane by engaging in online conversations. What would we do without this hub? What do the trees do without their hub? When a tree goes silent the forest suffers.
On the Anthropocene worldview
I have been thinking a lot about the definition of the word nature. It is what started me thinking in this path, because I had noticed how humans define “nature” as something outside themselves. Without thinking much of it. But I thought this is a big problem. Humankind is a part of nature, not outside or above it.
The “intelligence is defined on human terms” is central to the idea of the Anthropocene I think. I also think it is what draws my feelings of anger out the most in terms of this subject. I feel like everything is defined and pushed onto the planet “on the human terms”. Something like COVID makes me happy because it precisely reminds us that even in the age of the Anthropocene, it is actually not on human terms, but on natures. The central point of my thesis is to create an installation that does not exist on human terms or that questions the idea of “on human terms”.
In the book “Hypernatural Landscapes in the Anthropocene” there is an excellent text by Irene J. Klaver talking about the dutch landscape, which is all manmade, where artificiality becomes the natural. The very word “landscape” implies a viewer, a scape, somehow a sculpting I think. A lot of policy today is around plannedlandscapes. You might talk of the unnatural natural, the planned natural and the wild natural. Citydwellers almost never see the wild natural, and even when I’ve gone out of the city here in the states, its always to go to a “state park” and the nature just feels “planned”.
To his final point on living in response to other species. I think this hits the core of my thesis. I want the people who co-inhabits the space with my installation, to live in response to it, and change their behavior to adapt to it, rather than asking it to exist on their human terms.
On experiments in plant responsiveness
Expanded from this list made by the co-founder of ecospace.net: