Plants seem quite silent, or at least muted, to us noisy humans. However, sometimes we do get a glimpse of how bold and dramatic plants can be, either in nature or with a bit of human intervention. Wanting to give plants a voice and a boost from thousands of LED lights illuminating in programmed patterns, Tokyo art collective PARTY set up a greenhouse full of plants which set off music and light up the space when you touch them. Watch the light fantastic:
Seen over at Spoon & Tamago, the Digital Vegetables installation was done as part of the city's annual Design Touch event. The idea is to encourage visitors to get up close and personal, to touch seven different kinds of vegetables growing the space, which then will trigger a bunch of a series of associated sounds and lights. Says the project's director Naoki Ito:
Start off by touching the 7 types of lives now growing strong in the soil. Then, bathe in the design of vegetables, enhanced by videos and sounds.
The light show has been programmed to set off different lighting patterns, depending on what's touched. Even the sounds have a purpose, says the project's sound designer, Ray Kunimoto, who recorded and mixed various sounds from orchestral instruments, with the sounds of seeds rubbing together or the sounds of fruit being eaten:
Tomatoes are violin, carrots are trumpet, cabbages are oboe, mini radishes are flute, sweet potatoes are piano, eggplants are harp, pumpkins are clarinet.
The idea is to stimulate the different senses -- touch, sight, hearing, smell -- and associate them with the quiet power of plants, to remind us that plants can be quite exciting, if we take the time to sense and open the imagination. Digital Vegetables is on exhibtion in Tokyo Midtown until November 5th, 2017; the show is free and best seen during the evening. To find out more, visit Design Touch.