Symbiotic Transmitter

Symbiotic Transmitter (2020-2021) is a hybrid structure of interacting electronics and plants, created by Nathalie Gebert.

Symbiosis (from Greek: sym = together, bios = living) means living together and usually describes a long-term closeness of two beings. The Symbiotic Transmitter is a hybrid structure of interacting electronics and plants that enacts a speculative communication apparatus by pursuing the transmission of a signal. The transmission is only possible through cooperation between all parts, and depends on their well-being.

Certain plant species have developed quick motoric skills. The Mimosa pudica is known as a 'sensitive plant', closing its leaves and bowing down branches in rapid movements when it is stimulated for example by wind, water drops or touch.

The transmission of the signal is started by a soft touch of a branch above the installed infrared proximity sensor. The plant's leaves fold as the branch approximates the sensor. When close enough the sensor will start the pump and the next plant will be contacted and watered. The Mimosa pudica reads the incoming signal, reacts and starts the next transmission. This process of reading, translating and writing diversely mediated signals will be continued until the last unit is reached.

The mechanic and electronic parts ar e placed around the plants in a modular system of adjustable components. They are able to adapt to different shoot system shapes of the Mimosa pudica. Adjustability is necessary to reduce the stress of the plants. The plant pots can be rotated carefully. It is therefore possible to change the branch that will be watered and subsequently passes on the signal. Caring for the health of the sensitive plants is an essential part of the process, as is setting up and providing a warmed-up climate and a save environment over night.

short version

Symbiotic Transmitter is a work by Nathalie Gebert that acts as a structure of interacting electronics and plants. The machine is  a tool of an aesthetic investigation of relations, dependencies and intersections of the individual components to each other. Signals are transmitted through the plant-machine hybrid using the motoric reactions of a mimosa pudica. This is only possible through cooperation and the well-being of all parts.

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