John Shapiro/Data Garden
Midi Sprout (2015)
The art collective Data Garden have developed new technology called MIDI Sprout, a program that enables you to convert the biofeedback of plants into beautiful ambient synth music. Its programmers have vast ambitions for the project – they want MIDI Sprout to infiltrate homes, parks and stages across the world.
Here’s how it works: you wire up a plant to the hardware, which then gauges the electrical signal of a leaf and converts its energy reading into MIDI, transferring it to a series of software synths. Changes in the biological processes of the leaf (e.g. a reaction to light in its environment) is assigned a random number that corresponds to a MIDI note, allowing the data flow to be read as MIDI – and in the process, creating an electronic composition.