PlantWave (2021)

PlantWave by Joe Patitucci aka DataGarden
Device to sonify vegetable biorhythm, iOS App

PlantWave lets you listen to music played by your plants. The device detects slight electrical variations in a plant via two electrodes placed on the leaves. These variations are graphed as a wave, which is translated into pitch messages that play musical instruments designed by a team of sound artists. Other characteristics of the wave are used to modify timbral qualities of the instruments. The result is a continuous stream of ambient music that gives the listener a sonic window into the secret life of plants.

PlantWave can be connected to a plant and paired with a phone or pro music equipment like MIDI synths and Digital Audio Workstations via USB, WIFI or 3.5mm TRS Type A MIDI.

This technology is based on plant biologist and engineer Cleve Backster’s 1960s research on human-plant communication. He found that plants do react sensitive to the presence and actions of humans and appropriated polygraphs (lie detectors) to record the changes in the electrical resistance within them.