Sensing Bodies

with Sylvia Janicki

How can data creation and visualization foreground the interdependent and reciprocal relationships between human and plant bodies? How can artistic interventions open up new possibilities and ethical orientations toward more-than-human communities and bring forth their complex entwinement with the local environment?

Sensing Bodies is an artistic installation consisting of a series of three interactive exhibits that foreground relationships between a human and plant. The relationships are formed through unique reciprocal interactions, in which the biodata of both the human and plant bodies are collected through sensors, processed through circuits and algorithms, and represented through LED displays. The exhibits highlight our embodied encounters as co-constructed and interdependent with more-than-human agencies, pointing to an interspecies intimacy. However, the form of each exhibit, which displays plants inside an illuminated plexiglass box – bounded, framed, and removed from context – is intentionally evocative of a screen. As such, the installation not only invites reflection on our connection to non-human bodies, but also probes a disconnection to the living, local landscapes around us and their sociopolitical entanglements.

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Related publications and presentations:

  1. Sylvia Janicki, Anne Sullivan, Noura Howell, Nassim Parvin. “Becoming with Plants: Reflecting on Human-Plant Relationships through Biodata Displays of Bodily Encounters,” in progress.
  2. Sylvia Janicki, “A Memorial To Earth.” Presented at the Society of Social Studies of Science (4S)/ECOCITE Annual Conference, Universidad Iberoamericana, Cholula, Mexico, December 6-10th, 2022.