GROWORLD HPI SPECULATIONS ON THE EVOLUTION OF HUMAN PLANT INTERACTIONS

28 02 2009

By MAJA KUZMANOVIC and NIK GAFFNEY

“Our present global crisis is more profound than any previous historical crises; hence our solutions must be equally drastic. I propose that we should adopt the plant as the organizational model for life in the 21st century, just as the computer seems to be the dominant mental/social model of the late twentieth century, and the steam engine was the guiding image of the nineteenth century.” (McKenna, 1992)

As a botanical parallel to the oft misunderstood field of HCI – Human Computer Interaction, HPI – Human Plant Interaction, explores the nature of surfaces and processes required to facilitate mutually beneficial interaction between humans and plants. HPI necessarily takes a symbiotic approach, being shaped by the questions it poses, such as; how`fr`can this two-way interface be realised? What assumptions are we making with regards to how we understand humans and plants? Do we need individual, specialised interfaces for each species, language or alkaloid, or are there more general approaches? How would they work? Where, or what is the point of contact between the humans and plants? How do we make the transition from machinic to organic? From boolean logic systems to systemic ecologic? What changes are required, and what further changes would occur in the plants, or humans using such interfaces? How does the nature of time, place and metabolic byproducts differ on each side of these interfaces? Are they reconcilable, or even mutually explicable? What can we learn from each other? How can we form a closer symbiosis and better understanding between the human and vegetable kingdoms once we open the gates between them? Communication, or pollination?

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Illustration 1: Tree Woman. Drawing by Lina Kusaite, 2007

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