Earthbound — In Dialogue with Nature

María Castellanos & Alberto Valverde

«Beyond Human Perception», 2020

Beyond Human Perception explores the “secret language of plants” and allows us a glimpse at how we might enter into communication with them. The installation looks at the reactions of human beings and plants to the stimuli of live music. Using EEG technology, human brain activity is measured and compared to electrical oscillations in plants, which are measured with special sensors developed by the artists. The two data sets are compared using the Fourier transform method. The synchronised videos render a visible result: one shows a recording of a concert held for an audience of plants and humans, while the other illustrates the corresponding response patterns in the form of data visualisation and graphic simulation. Through this direct comparison, María Castellanos and Alberto Valverde bring humans closer to the plant world and provide an understanding of how similarly both react to their common environment.

María Castellanos and Alberto Valverde (ES) have been working together under the name uh513 since 2009. Castellanos is an artist and holds a PhD in Fine Arts from the University of Vigo, Spain. Valverde is an artist and technologist with experience in systems design, interactive environments, and robotics. Their collaborative research focuses on the hybridisations between cyborgs and «wearables» as a paradigm through which to expand human sensory capabilities and to create complex systems of communication and understanding between humans and plants. Their work has been shown in a number of exhibitions and they have received several awards for their work, including the recent EU Horizon 2020 Vertigo Starts prize. María Castellanos and Alberto Valverde live in Oslo.