uh513 [María Castellanos & Alberto Valverde] (ES) Beyond Human Perception

Installation, 2020

Beyond Human Perception allows the audience to visualize and compare reactions of both humans and plants to a common stimulus – live music – by erasing boundaries of communication and understanding between these living forms, as well as by highlighting the immediate reactions of plants to the changes in their surroundings. The installation is the result of several sessions of recording human brain activity with EEG waves, as well as the electrical oscillations occurring in plants, measured by a sensor developed by the artists, able to detect immediate changes in plants.

The data obtained from humans and plants may be compared using mathematics, i.e., the Fast Fourier Transform (FFT) algorithm. This data can also be displayed graphically, thanks to an algorithm developed by the artists, which allows the audience to see the data depicted in the shape of little spheres that move within the geometric shape of a torus. Each little sphere represents a piece of data collected. The graphic representation of human and plant data can be viewed simultaneously in a video, allowing the audience to discern patterns by comparing the reactions of both living beings to live music.

Beyond Human Perception is composed of two synchronized videos, displayed facing each other. One video features the concert for plants and humans, while the other displays the visualization of the data of both living forms’ responses during the performance.

Collaborators: LABoral Centro de Arte y Creación Industrial

Musicians: Pablo Luna, Vero Rubio, Chiaki Mawatari

Volunteers: Fernando González, Anibal López, Patricia Villanueva, Tamara Norniella, Gema Ramos, Karin Ohlenschläger, Román Torre, Yadhira Bartolomé, Lucía Falcón, Juan Falcón, Ana Serna, María González, Cristina de Silva, Natalia Alonso, Pablo de Soto, Noemi Iglesias

Beyond Human Perception is realized within the framework of theEuropean Media Art Platforms EMARE program at KONTEJNER, with support of the Creative Europe Programme of the European Union.

uh513 [María Castellanos & Alberto Valverde] (ES)

María Castellanos and Alberto Valverde (uh513), began working together as a duo in 2009. María Castellanos is an artist and a researcher, with a PhD in Fine Arts from the University of Vigo. Alberto Valverde is an artist and technologist with experience in system design, creation of interactive environments, multimedia, and robotics.

Their joint practice focuses on the relationships between human beings and machines. In recent years they have centered their research on hybridizations between cyborgs and wearables as a paradigm of the extension of human sensorial capabilities and the creation of complex systems that promote communication and understanding between humans and plants.

Their work has won awards like VERTIGO STARTS (2017), a prize granted under the aegis of EU-Horizon 2020, an initiative led by Centre Pompidou and IRCAM, Paris, and the Fraunhofer Gesellschaft, Germany, created to foster collaboration between art practitioners and research and development projects. In 2016 they were awarded the Antón Scholarship for Sculpture Research from the Museo Antón in Candás (Spain). In 2016 they were nominated for the STARTSPrize' 16 at Ars Electronica, Linz (Austria) and the Japan Media Arts Festival, Tokyo (Japan).

During recent years they have been artists in residence at OsloMet University, in the framework of the FELT – Futures of Living Technologies project, 2019; a research stay at CITA – Center for Information Technology and Architecture, in the context of VERTIGO STARTS 2017 Copenhagen; a research residency at SoftLab at Sliperiet, Umea Universitet (Sweden); and the Next Things residency at LABoral Centro de Arte (Spain) and Telefonica I+D (Spain), 2015.

Their work has been featured in a number of exhibitions, including Jardín Cyborg, at Matatero Madrid, 2019; the solo exhibition Open Environmental Kit at MUSAC – Contemporary Art Museum of Castilla & Leon, Spain, 2019; Eco-Visionaries at Hek, Basel, 2018; Look Forward Fashion Tech Festival, at La Gâite Lyrique Museum, Paris 2017; Human Factor, organized by Ars Electronica at DRIVE Volskwagen, Berlin, 2016; Ars Electronica Festival 2016, Linz; and Bozar Electronic Art Festival, Brussels, 2016.

Both have been teaching at the Contemporary Art Master of the University of Vigo (Spain), and have been invited by several universities and institutions to give talks and workshops about their artistic practices.