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Bartlett School of Architecture, UCL

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The Augmentation of Plants

Plants intuitively collect information about their surroundings. Much like humans, animals and machines, they have electrical signals travelling inside them, but no nerves. Still, they naturally react to changes in luminous intensity, osmotic pressure, temperature, cutting, mechanical stimulation, water availability and wounding; but in their natural physique, the plants’ silence condemns them into mere automation.

The Augmentation of Plants, screenshot: the distribution of branches

The Augmentation of Plants, screenshot: the distribution of branches

We, as human beings, have a natural desire to anthropomorphize inanimate objects, in order to sympathize or communicate with something other than our species. In the situation of plants, since they are after all living, we perhaps crave for a humanoid affection or emotion coming from their part – an expression of intelligence, a desire for their augmentation.

The Augmentation of Plants, screenshot: the static plant

The Augmentation of Plants, screenshot: the static plant

The measurement of the plant’s reaction to the external environment begins to depict the plant as a semi-human, possibly a machine. This augmentation can be represented as the plant talking through one. It is only understandable that a machine will one day truly impersonate a human by some media, and plants may not be so far off.

The Augmentation of Plants, screenshot: cold weather

The Augmentation of Plants, screenshot: cold weather

The Augmentation of Plants, screenshot: sunlight

The Augmentation of Plants, screenshot: sunlight

The Augmentation of Plants, screenshot: dry weather

The Augmentation of Plants, screenshot: dry weather

In the short film above, a plant was embodied with the physique of a woman. This manifestation of pseudo-evidence personifies plants to humans hiding inside their body, to exemplify their augmentation through the attribution of a brain and a body. The short film is split in three distinct parts, the first of which deals with the actual personification of the plant, the second illustrating the hidden conditions, and the third dealing with a representation of the augmentation (through the animation of the motionless).

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