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We’re interested in the dynamics of pollination, what that means for each individual plant and what it means for an ecosystem.  In the natural world, plants continuously adapt to pollinators in their environment like birds and insects, seeking a balance between attracting the biggest number and keeping them moving. Some morphological aspects that change are: changing shape, color, line patterns, and scent. They also explore a variety of attractants from the promise of or actual food or sex (mimicking the appearance of the other gender).single-plant

In this installation, we can explore the point of view of an individual plant or the whole ecosystem. Plants would be able to change to become more attractive to visitors. The plants would be able to vary using color, rhythms of pulsing light. In a sense, our plants would have the opportunity to evolve a plant song in light. An ecosystem would be interested in maximizing its life by using all the plants.

Input: proximity of people

Black box: optimizing the number of people around, and/or their movement between plants

Output: the most attractive plant song

SCENARIO 0: One Plant

Only one plant is installed. Visitor can interact with it by feeding it different tags and/or talking to the plant. The plant learns from how many people it can attract (proximity) to be more attractive.  The information received via tags or sound influences the strategies it attempts.

SCENARIO 1: Ecossystem

A series of glowing “plants” are in a dark room. Each plant has tags in it. People would be able to grab tags from one and drop in the next (pollination). The objective of the plant is to spread its information by attracting the most people.Potentially we could compare competition with collaboration, if the plants are allowed to work as an ecosystem that tries to learn how to maintain the largest number of people in the area and moving between plants.

SCENARIO 2: Pollination “battle”

A series of 4 glowing “plants” are in a dark room. Between the four plants is a 3 ft x 3 ft LED board. From time to time, each plant may pollinate and the LED board lights up near the plant. The nearby presence of visitors triggers pollination, maybe can also influence the pollination pattern.  Plants will try to “cover” the LED board with their seeds. In a sense the four plants could be playing a game against each other.

Potentially, pollination can occur if seeds of one plant reach another plant.

SCENARIO 3: Similar to scenario 2, but everything happens on the LED board, including the plants which become a clump of LEDs.


 – How to create enough interesting variance in the plants? Each plant can deal with sound and light, patterns have a small set of LEDs. Each plant can detect light, sounds..

– How to pass info between plants? Using RFID tags

– How to visualize next generations?



Pollination is a means of sexual reproduction in the plant world, the “male” gamete is released (pollen) to attempt to reach the ovaries of another plant. The gametes carry genetic information. The fusion of the two gametes creates a seed that can originate a new plant.


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