PLart project

This is the page dedicated to my SciArt project of Research and Production about Plant Communication.

I started a first period of artistic residency in dr. Ninkovic’ labs at Faculty of Ecology, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Uppsala, Sweden, during august 2020. Here you will find a diary of the experience and my toughts, and I will keep it updated for next developments.

I followed the residency creating “PLANT STILLNESS”, a multisensorial art/science theatre piece about plant communication.

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THE IDEA (IN SHORT)

Since my Master in Bioethics, University of Padova, and then for during a Master in Cognitive Science and Interactive Media at UPF, Barcelona, I am studying complex systems, and their behaviour. Living beings are Complex Adaptive Systems. Bunches of cells strictly interacting. All living beings, animals, such humans, and plants too.

The core of the system is the cell, the true winner on evolution up to now.

prato infinito
in 2016, I developed an itinerant theatre play exploring the concepts of human/plant identity and of living cells (you can find the full text here: https://antonioirre.files.wordpress.com/2020/04/il-prato-infinito-endless-meadow-en-11.02.2020.pdf )

In plants, cells adopted a different survival strategy than in animals, and evolution made the rest. BUT we share so much as for biological substances and transmitters, we have so many “biological words” in common, even if nowadays maybe they mean something different in the differently evolved “dialects”.

I want to explore the possibilities of communication, for different reasons:

  • as scientific research project,
  • as artistic production,
  • as a way to increase ecological awareness,
  • as a further step to recognize that we are One.

A MORE FORMAL PRESENTATION

PLart is a research and production Art&Science project started by italian artist Antonio Irre Catalano, in cooperation with The Ecology center of SLU University, Uppsala, Sweden.

The focus is Plant Communication. What would you ask if you could talk to a plant? The project starts from this question, and from the biology that is at the base of all living beings, that has a lot in common between animals and plants. PLart is putting together Art and Science to broaden views and to tackle environmental issues: considering a possible human-plant communication makes us more aware of our symbiotic relation, and of the uniqueness of life. Art and Science works together as new paths to knowledge.

The project is ongoing. Despite Covid, the first residency inside the Ecology center has been done during August 2020. During autumn 2021 a first presentation of PLANT STILLNESS, the new show arising from the research, has been performed at SUPERMARKET ART FAIR, Stockholm.

Production involves both artistic performances, to be held in different artistic venues and in science museums, as well a digital media installation, involving partners from the electronic industry all over Europe.

Who is involved:

Antonio Irre Catalano – independent artist, Italy

Prof. Velemir Ninkovic, Ecology Center, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences – scientist, Sweden

Prof. Pier Luigi Capucci, Academy of Fine Arts of Reggio Calabria, founder of NOEMALAB.EU, Italy

Robert Kastner – science communicator, founder of CANDEEDCUE.COM, Austria

Key features:

the aim is to develop unique art & science works, able to communicate the important research that the University is carrying, but also to open to new views for all the general public. It is also deeply rooted in contemporary art research. The challenge of the ongoing project is to produce a work that has both an importance for science and for art communities.

Society and environmental changes:

We all know that environmental education needs to be boosted. Top-down approach is slow and not very effective, we need to create an inner change inside people’s consciousness. Making people think that they could communicate with plants brings them to a now ontological level, that is much less anthropocentric, therefore it is a groundbreaking way to boost our relationship with the environment.

Embedded qualities:

A team which has big experience in art&science projects, thanks to Pier Luigi Capucci and Robert Kastner, an artist with scientific background (MsC in Pharmaceutical Chemistry, BA in BIoethics, BA in Cognitive Systems and Interactive Media), an expert scientist and a team of young and open-minded researchers.

THE DIARY

DAY 1: PLart – Part 1, Day 1

DAY 2: PLart – Part 1, Day 2

DAY 3: PLart – Part 1, Day 3

DAY 4: PLart – Part 1, Day 4

WATCH THE VIDEO REPORTAGE AND INTERVIEWS

 

RESOURCES

Article about Vegetable World by Chiara Palmerini (ITALIAN)

Plants “screaming” and communicating regardless of genre

PLANT STILLNESS was presented at SUPERMARKET ART FAIR, Oct 2021. Check my Portfolio for a datasheet about it.

Books:

Richard Karban, Plant Communication and sensing

F. Baluska, V. Ninkovic, Plant Communication from an Ecological Perspective

GET INVOLVED

If you arrived at this point, it means you are probably interested in PLart.

Write me if you want to collaborate or if you want to support or be a partner of the project!

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