Action Plant (2010)

Ivan Henriques

Sponsor: V2_Lab, Host: V2_Lab

Action Plant” (2010) is a work by Ivan Henriques. It is a speculative proposal to empower threatened species of plants with the ability to flee from their aggressors.

During the Summer Session 2010 residency at V2_, Brazilian artist Ivan Henriques collaborated with biologist Bert van Duijn from Leiden University and the developers of the V2_Lab to build a first Action Plant prototype.

Plants are moving creatures. Their movements generally remains invisible to us, because their muscle and nerve-like systems operate at a very slow timescale and their rooting in soil confines their motion to the movement of branches and leaves. These restrictions give plants an enormous disadvantage compared to their main aggressors: animals and humans, in many instances resulting in a loss of biodiversity and even extinction.

In the prototype that Ivan Henriques developed during the V2_ Summer Sessions a plant is provided with an off-the-shelf motor system. The potential of the plant to sense when it is being touched is used to set the motor in action. By doing so, the plant is able to speedily drive away in response to human touch.

This project was developed during a residency as part of a Summer Sessions residency at V2_.