Mixed Reality with Plants & Data

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Image credit: Charu Maithani

Contact Zone deploys performative techniques that lure digital augments, living plants, mixed reality, and a posthuman body to generate a relational field of movement that is troubled by patterns of interference.

Modulating the bio-electrical impulses from a living agave plant, I co-compose a live soundtrack via a careful manipulation of its leaves. Ultra-sonic microphones embedded in an adjacent green wall add a sonic wash as I move my body across the room. Constructed in the Unity gaming engine and programmed in C#, digital augments fill both screens. The screen on the left is grayscale, revealing an altered embodied vision, transposed to my gaze via the Leap Motion interface attached to the HTC Vive head mounted display. The screen on the right is attached to another parallel Unity system, where I employ a second Leap motion interface to trace my hand’s micro-gestures as they swish through the air. Here, the Leap motion is both a gestural controller and a look-through camera.

In this performance, entanglements between modes of matter (infrared, bio-electrical, fleshy, and digital) shift constellations of bodies-plants-data, as they dynamically and rhythmically align in motion.

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Image credit: Charu Maithani.

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