PERACH – Understanding ourselves and our surroundings

Created by Eden Offer and Ronen Tanchum, ‘PERACH‘ is a biofeedback art installation that allows visitors to ‘feel’ the interior electrical happenings of their plants. Perach consists of a multi-sensor IoT device along with a web platform that provides visitors with the ability to hear, and visually perceive the changes taking place inside plants.

“The project goal is to understand if this will form a closer relationship and make us more attentive to our plants, thus increasing the care relationship with our environment. Plants, like all life forms, communicate constantly, but in a different way than humans. Communication depends on each life form’s time scale, and we are limited to understanding it from those that are similar in their scale to ours. Plants are animals that are low energy consuming than most animals, and do not communicate on our time scale. So our understanding of plants is mostly limited to superficial features such as color changes or leaves dropping, but plants can communicate via fungi and electricity, some even claiming to communicate by sound. By tapping into the electrical happenings inside plants, this project attempted to convey this information to humans in a tangible way.”

Ronen Tanchum

‏The idea behind this project was to investigate how technology can enable us to reach out to other life forms and gain an understanding of how understanding other life forms can ultimately help us to understand ourselves and our surroundings.

The installation uses an ESP 32 feather controller alongside with the following sensors; AD5933 (impedance), AD8232 (EMG), SEN0193 (Soil resistance), SEN0043 (Ambient light), DHT11 sensor (Temperature and humidity). Web software relies on Firebase, Google cloud, Javascript, HTML web applications. For the projection, ie the visualization; Arduino C#, Touchdesinger, Python, Weka (ML and analysis), Jasp as well as the OP1 synthesizer, Kinect azure and a projector.

Project Page | Eden Offer | Ronen Tanchum

See also Botanicus Interacticus – Designing interactive plants at Disney Research