TALK TO ME
Four silkscreen prints are displaying the textual data collected from more than 13 000 messages received during the two year period (2011 – 2012) when the interactive installation Talk To Me was exhibited in the galleries in Tallinn, Basel, Riga and Ventspils. One of the prints shows the most frequently used word map and how often these words appear together in the same message. On two prints are shown word clouds by male and female voices and another print displays the conceptual diagram of the project.
The outcome of Talk To Me project is also a book, which introduces to the project idea, performed experiments, and analyses the content of the received messages.
Silkscreen prints are part of the Talk To Me installation accompanied with time lapse video of growing plants, 3D printed word cloud and video documentation about the project.
Talk To Me is an artistic inquiry into human and plant communication, exploring the relationships between nature and people, biology and technology, biological and social processes in particular. We started the Talk To Me project by asking – do plants grow better, taller and more beautiful, if people talk to them? As our interest was less biological than social, our research focused more on the communicative dimension and less on the growing aspect; we were also curious – will people be “talking” to the plants by using our own developed online interface? And people really talked to the plants and did it willingly – altogether 13 183 messages were received from visitors in the two-year period of the Talk To Me project during which the installations were exhibited in five different locations with an online interface in 3 different languages (English, German and Latvian). Such a high level of activity shows the interest in the idea to communicate with plants. But more than that, it also shows that contemporary communication tools – such as the Talk To Me online interface that is available on your personal computer or mobile phone in your pocket – may even be an encouraging facet in human-plant communication, as not everybody dares to talk to plants directly or do it publicly. At the end of project, the bean plants did grow well and even blossomed. No doubt we haven’t found all the answers, but we succeeded in raising new questions and identifying new territories to be explored. We continue collaborating with scientists, experimenting with alternative energy technology that generates electricity from dirty water and soil, and envisioning a design for a sustainable and mobile human-plant communication device and future communication systems.
Credits: RIXC – production; Rasa Smite and Raitis Smits – artistic concept, project execution; Martins Ratniks – graphical design; Davis Bojars – programming.
Exhibition Talk To Me at Akureyri Art Museum, Akureyri, Iceland, June – September 2019
Art Vilnius 2017, Vilnius, Lithuania, June 2017
Light at the End of the Cable. Latvian Art in the Digital Era, Riga, Latvia, September – October, 2016
Data Drift, kim?, Riga, Latvia, October – November, 2015
Transformative Ecologies, Maison Du Design, Mons, Belgium, August 2015
Work included in the collection of Contemporary Art Museum of Latvia