Soni Plantarum

Investigating and sonifying electric signals in plants

This project is a series of experiments that lead to the project Planterious. In this phase, I investigated electric signals in plants, learned how to measure electric properties on plants and started to sonify the measured data.

Being new to the field of electronics, I slowly increased the complexity of the circuits I used to try detect electrical signals in plants. Amongst others, I tested the suitability of GSR, EEG, Disney's Touché Sensor and a Wheatstone Bridge. However, all of these methods turned out to merely turn the plant into a touch sensor - I could not actually measure the plant's very own signals. I then visited Prof. Dr. Fromm's plant laboratory in Hamburg, where I was invited to join some students in learning how to measure action potentials (AP) and variation potentials (VP) within a single living plant cell. It was an eye opening experience, but considering the equipment that was used to do so, it also showed me that I was not very likely to succeed in trying to measure these signals on my own.

At the end of this series of experiments I had learned a lot about plants and electronics and sonified several touch-sensor-plants using MaxMSP.

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Year:  2015
Category:  Electronics / Sonification
Context:  Preparation for Master Project