2010 / Author: Špela Petrič / Collaborators: Jernej Južna (programming), Vasja Progar (programming, hardware) / Acknowledgments: Kemijski Inštitut, Ljubljana / The project is supported by the Ministry of Culture of the Republic of Slovenia and the Municipality of Ljubljana Department for Culture
Produced by Kapelica Gallery
Exploiting the natural phototactic response of water fleas (Daphnia magna, Cladocera), the author uses light as means for manipulating the zooplankton’s movement and, through real-time visual analysis, translates their position into verses. Since the water fleas’ response to light is (within a certain margin of error) predictable, one can determine the correlation between light and position, thus “tuning” the poetry instrument. Essentially, by incorporating living beings into a computer driven contraption the project explores ways in which quantifiable physical factors such as light or chemical substances may be detected by a complex system (the crustaceans), processed and once again translated into a simple quantifiable data (position). As the final output is poetry, it directly perverts the utilitarian scientific use of these organisms as bioindicators.