a blog about culture, sound, music, and technology.
updated occasionally by Nick Seaver.
David Benqué’s work in progress, “Acoustic Botany,” is a set of hypothetical plants that have been genetically engineered to make sounds. So far, they’re pretty broadly conceptual, like a nut whose insides are “eaten away by bugs engineered to chew in rhythm.” The image above is “Popping Pod Fruit,” which would be engineered to contain small seed capsules that slowly fill with air over the lifetime of the plant, eventually popping in aleatoric rhythm with its neighbors.
Primarily, this seems like a very interesting way to create an opposing form of acoustic ecology. Most work in acoustic ecology is about reducing human sonic influence in nature, and protecting “natural” soundscapes. Genetic engineering (or at least the implausibly specific and sonic version Benqué describes) offers another way to get into nature’s sounds and alter the soundscape.
(via we make money not art)