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Invisible Forest and the beginnings of making tangible the forest’s “root brain”…..

09-11 September 2013
Sunflower festival, Hillsborough, Northern Ireland

The most recent in a series of multichannel sound installations. This one uses spatial audio techniques to create an interactive and immersive 3d soundscape (see video for details). Electrical signals in plants affect the soundscape. This is the first in a series of sound installations that will make tangible electrical signals in the forest and the mycorrhizal network. The mycorrhizal network is a vast communications network of plant roots and fungal mycelium – evidence suggests that that the signaling used to communicate is electrco chemical and uses ion channels and action potentials similar to those in our brain – Charles Darwin was the first to coin the term “root brain”. So there is some evidence to suggest the forest could have a giant underground brain of sorts….
Max is used to read the signals (thankyou labjack for writing a max external !!) and trigger sounds – soon we will add lights – this is a kind of prototype. However its not all science – the soundscape also feature surreal nightime imagery such as flocks of strange birds flying from tree to tree (adapted from porn birds we did at Glastonbury)

How was MAX used?

Max reads electrical signals from plants and converts them into sounds using labjacks u3 data acquisition board

Invisible Forest and the beginnings of making tangible the forest’s “root brain”…..

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