Memory without brain

Memory without brain is an ecological intelligence sound-lecture performance which explore beings, thought, perception and how they constantly shape our shared world through the story of a plant. I try to identify ways of combining the use of emerging technologies to expand real-time human perception.

Memory [Instagram]

I’m inspired to do this work because I envision spaces and moments where art performances combined with other wellbeing and educational activities and biophilia design can provide care and nourishment. I call this ecological intelligence.

Inspired by Stefano Mancuso’s book “The revolutionary genius of plants”, I started thinking of ways to add the element of plants in the performance. I use field recordings, code based on plants’ growth and biodata sonification to create plant’s sonic world and then blend it with other worlds. Listen some early experiments. This is an invitation to wander, listen, see and imagine how plants, animals, humans, visible and invisible creatures, dreams, fantasies, stories and magic, intersect to create  our shared world.  Where intelligence might not be the ability to solve problems but the ability to enter a shared world.

The revolutionary genius of plants

Some theory

Biodata Sonification is a process to translate complex real-time sensor data into musical notes and controls, exploring auditory sensory modality to provide insights into invisible phenomenon. Every living being shows electrical activities on its surface as a sign of its vitality: electrical signals can be captured from human skin as a result of muscles and neurons activities and can be highly altered by skin’s moisture; also plants show electrical activities on their leaves as a consequence of their metabolic processes. Having the possibility to merge electronics and physiology into a musical instrument which shows that these two scientific fields can be actually reduced to the same concept: electrons running around and producing a variety to different effects because of their movement. Biological activity can be synthesised to the concept of electrons leaving and joining new atmos with the result of creating molecular instability and thus, movement.


Flora is a Monome Norns musical device script based on L-Systems. L-systems were introduced and developed in 1968 by Aristid Lindenmayer, a Hungarian theoretical biologist and botanist who used them to describe the behaviour of plant cells and to model the growth processes of plant development The brick in the sky. The theory of L-systems is similar to fractals.

The process

Fritjof Capra recommenced to me Mancuso’s book ” The revolutionary genius of plants” in a conversation we had about consciousness at the Capra Course the systems view of life. In the past I’ve been “exposed” to plant’s energy when I volunteered in Clunny gardens, Findhorn community and at times I used the Alascan flower essences. Recently I started exploring Jonathan Snyder’s amazing Monome Norns script “Flora” which is based on L-systems and Duncan Geere’s data sonification script “Loud Numbers”. Duncan has made these amazing bio data sonification podcast series. Through my research I came across the midi sprouts. Midi sprouts (now plant wave), have developed a biodata sonification system based on the work of Sam Cusumano.
I contacted Sam Cusumano – electricity for progress – who was happy to explain to me in more detail how biodata sonification work.  Sam has further developed the initial midi sprouts device that now calls bio-sonification device which I finally acquired.