House of Natural Fiber Bio-Installation
The House of Natural Fiber – an Indonesian media lab and design collective that combines art, science, and activism in its projects – showcased its latest work as part of The Ungovernables New Museum Triennial exhibition in New York.
IB: EC [Intelligent Bacteria: Eschericia Coli], The Song of the River, is an installation composed of two parts. The first is a large projection of contaminated river water from Indonesia, brought to New York by the collective’s representatives, Irene Agrivina and Venzha Christ. Using a powerful microscope and digital camera, visitors can see the E. Coli microbes – which render the river water undrinkable – swimming in it in real-time.
The second part consists of a water filtration tube hydrating several plants. The plants are connected to electrical nodes, amplifiers, and speakers, which play the sounds that the plants produce at an audible level. The sounds resemble a human’s deep exhalations. “Different plants produce different sounds, and we believe that plants can also hear sounds,” says Venzha. “Playing sounds next to them will cause them to grow differently.”
The Triennial exhibition ends on April 22 2012.