Cork, steel, electronics, sensors, Max/MSP
The Plant(iPod) Installation explores the active relationship between objects in the space of the gallery, and the body of the viewer. Predominantly sculptural in nature, the installation is comprised of eight plant/prosthetic objects of various shapes and sizes, spread throughout the gallery. The organically shaped objects house embedded houseplants that visually reference tree like forms. Each of the sculptural objects include a built in sub woofer with metal branches rising from it, to hold the two small speakers close to the leafy part of the plant, and function as a sound system. Each object contains both sensors and speakers, so that the sound being played to the plants is directly affected by the viewer’s location and proximity. When the installation is at rest the Plant iPods play sound files of people breathing. As the viewer moves through the space, the sounds of the plants that s/he is closest to drifts in and out of stories told in multiple languages. Individually the sounds are not loud and require that the viewer move in close in order to hear the stories, closing the physical space between the body of the viewer and the plants.
This work explores the poetics involved in creating new relationships between human and plant life, and subverts the traditional hierarchy, which positions plant life below human life. The installation evokes the possibility of developing technologies that are nature-centric rather than human-centric – and breaths life back into the idea of the enchanted forest.
Jane Tingley is a Winnipeg born sculptor and installation artist working and living in Montreal, Quebec, Canada. She began her career as a sculptor, but quickly became interested in working with new media tools as a way of affecting the body of the viewer. While living in Japan she started experimenting with electronics and building actuator driven robotic works, and during her Masters at Concordia University she started building installations and working with sound. Since finishing her MFA she has been focused on combining her two loves – art making and travel – and has been exhibiting her works and participating in artist residencies internationally. Her most recent activity includes residencies at the MuseumQuartier in Vienna (AT) and at CAMAC in Marnay-sur-Seine (FR), Roboexotica in Vienna (AT) and Elektra festivals in Montreal (CA), and exhibitions at Estevan Gallery in Saskatchewan (CA) and the Kunstlerhause in Vienna (AT).