A Chatroom Fabulation

Installation, plant, soil, grow light, tattooed PVC, variable display, 2017-18


A Chatroom Fabulation

A Chatroom Fabulation is the speculative attempt of a cross-species communication between humans, plants and algorithms. Enabled by technical possibilities and scientific findings, the artist speculates that we can enter into a dialogue with plants - an exchange that is necessary for the survival of all of us. While it is still unexplored to what extent plants can perceive sounds, it is clear that they react to light. Marie-Eve Levasseur uses an LED grow lamp to make contact with the light-sensitive species - a classic indoor plant from the hardware store and a foreigner like the artist herself. Meanwhile, computer-generated root systems, which enable inter-plant communication, and a chatroom dialogue become visible on the PVC film. Following Donna Haraway's method of 'speculative fabulation' and inspired by science fiction literature, Marie-Eve Levasseur has written a chatroom fabulation. A fictional dialogue between human and plant species, somewhere in a virtual space. And yet this moment of fabulating, fictional writing is always accompanied by a kind of real utopia: It is here that we can imagine a different, future society, where fluid communication between the most diverse species will one day be a reality.
by gioia dal molin

photo ©Esther Nora Mathis
photo ©Esther Nora Mathis
photo ©Esther Nora Mathis

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[16:08:55] C0mp0stedUndrneath entered the room

[16:09:12] storyte11ingSEEDS entered the room

[16:09:52] theFabul8ed0fficePl4nt entered the room

[16:10:02] <storyte11ingSEEDS> you go on. Just try to be perceptive. Slow down and feel the story.

[16:10:09] theCaReTaKeRz entered the room

[16:11:12] OfficeComputerSoftware entered the room

[16:11:20] <theCaReTaKeRz> if we first decelerate these

relationships and let human beings receive chemical messages, it might become one of those untold stories...

[16:11:54] <Me> I‘m dreaming of chemical clouds full of information..…

[16:11:56] <OfficeComputerSoftware> Error 426 upgrade required : human body does not compute chemical messages from the vegetal world. Install/implant sensors. Try again later.

[16:14:01]<storyte11ingSEEDS> constantly learning process

through genome adaptation is what we do... air quality upgrading for growing stories of invisible collaboration…

[16:15:32] <theFabul8ed0fficePl4nt> [storyte11ingSEEDS]: yes

[16:15:40] <theFabul8ed0fficePl4nt> shaping each other‘s

genomes like if we could merge and trans-become.

[16:15:51] <Me> You feed me, you breathe and all other beings can breathe, you talk on a frequency I can't perceive, you were there before; tentacular knots of meaning that still are unperceivable for my coded receptivity.

[16:16:44] <C0mp0stedUndrneath> wet worms dancing gracefully... we're not alone.

[16:16:49] GrowSearch1ngR00tz entered the room

[16:16:50] <OfficeComputerSoftware> calculated capacity to #phytomorphize algorithms = low. Error 409 conflict. Plant thinking is too slow.

[16:16:58] <Me> but the pace of plants is the pace of life. Since we all are interdependent (and humanimals are even more depending on plants that they are depending on us), the general speed of life should follow a vegetal pattern of gathering seeds, fruits, planting crops and watch them grow.

[16:17:03] SwarmTh1nking_Leaf entered the room

[16:17:20] <theCaReTaKeRz> I sometimes also dream of a broader understanding, a kind of symbiosis, an extended perception. @theFabul8ed0fficePl4nt, can you read my mind?

[16:17:54] <Me> What if the cloud we imagined for the storage of data would function like chemical messages from plants? If we could phytomorphize ourselves and our machines, there might be a better flowing understanding of things/beings.

[16:20:06] <storyte11ingSEEDS> that's true. surviving through tougher times... Maybe your warm body could learn to receive and understand chemical messages from the vegetal world. We could finally tell each other stories.

[16:24:03] <SwarmTh1nking_Leaf> how to share living vegetal tissues as sensors to implant on the human body?

[16:25:35] <C0mp0stedUndrneath> processing a biochemistry of decomposing matter in the warm and dark ground. Softly collaborating with all beings. Observing ongoing interdependence…

[16:25:37] <OfficeComputerSoftware> Or nanobots seeds for an artificial system coded to receive chemical messages, interpret them and transfer to a humanimal body for digestion. using the surfaces to perceive and transmit in a non-invasive way. Prevent infection, toward symbiosis, but through algorithms.

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[16:26:00] <theCaReTaKeRz> Affection. I'll carry on affecting the colorful sessile being I’m gardening. Autonomy. Together.

[17:16:26] <Me> my daughter was greeting all trees and plants on the side of the road. She told me that a leaf said hello back, waving at her.

do botanical subjectivities impact our empathy?

[19:42:05] <SwarmTh1nking_Leaf> We hope so.

[20:52:12] <theFabul8ed0fficePl4nt> would surely reinforce it. Try not to destroy the potential here. We must reach a point where we are response-able for and think in tune with each other.

[22:31:23] <C0mp0stedUndrneath> are there any straight lines in the world?

[22:32:01] <OfficeComputerSoftware> crystal would be the nearest straight line in nature. But nature is mostly curves entangling in each other.

[25:59:17] <GrowSearch1ngR00tz> I can't think of any current that flow straight. Waves and patterns. Always.

[27:50:02] <Me> Plant a story in our head, let the future being conceived under the grow lights. Multiple frequencies LEDs and composted bodies for a mindfulness pattern of all chemical collaborations.