Leon Lapa Pereira
Sponsor: V2_Lab Host: V2_Lab

Heliotropic Flowers is an installation delving into the mechanics of flowers’ light-responsive behaviour. Possessing the ability to detect even the faintest light, these diminutive entities pursue light sources indiscriminately. These parallels challenge Leon Lapa Pereira’s perspective on technology: consider a termite hill’s intricate accomplishments—material detection, transportation, glue production, culminating in constructing extensive networks of tunnels spanning kilometres. These tunnels encompass streets, storage, and cooling airflow, showcasing remarkable efficiency compared to human tunnelling efforts. As humans are typically categorised as part of nature or products of evolutionary processes, a query arises: Can our achievements be deemed natural? Is a car, therefore, a facet of nature? It consists of gathered materials ingeniously assembled into a collaborative realisation.

This endeavour further intertwines technology exploration and its autonomous interconnections. By crafting distinct individual personalities through diverse codes, these entities begin to interact and respond to one another. Like cellular automata, where individual agency is rudimentary, the amalgamation of myriad agents gives rise to intricate systems. As much as the research did, it does follow the artist’s interest in the mechanisms of flowers. Their ability to communicate and to sense is curiously observed and translated.

Heliotropic Flowers aims to provoke sensory engagement within the embrace of darkness and isolating fabric. It encourages attunement to the existing elements: inquisitive entities, the gentle hum of servo engines, and a distinctive code governing each flower’s personality and its light-interaction approach. Does it seek light, evade it, or radiate light itself? Armed with flashlights, the audience is welcome to probe diverse flower personas and their aptitudes.

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