Garden of Ghost Flowers

Garden of Ghost Flowers is an experiential artwork we are co-creating with Lundahl & Seitl.

The visitors are invited into a biosphere, an environment framed by technology. Inside this space, the resonance of the group, their intra-actions and relations, form the fertile soil for virtual life to grow in. This artwork is participatory, you will be asked to use your voice. 

This is the first prototype, the embryonic stage of Garden of Ghost Flowers, a trans-disciplinary and perennial artwork striving to find new perspectives on how technology can frame human relations, how physical bodies can inhabit virtual worlds, and on new forms of artificial life.

The artwork takes place in a biosphere, in which grows a Ghost Flower, an artificial life form that gains its nutrients from the resonance of its human visitors. The sociologist Hartmut Rosa defines resonance as a mode of interacting with the world that is not based on control, but on mutual giving and taking, as in a conversation, or a dance. 

Each visit lasts for twenty minutes and can accommodate up to twenty people. Through their way of relating, listening, and vocalising, each group of visitors collectively provides a unique biotope for the Ghost Flower to grow in. Each Ghost Flower is a unique reflection of the relations and interactions of its own group of visitors. 

During each visit, a view of the currently growing Ghost Flower is streamed to a webpage, where remote viewers can follow its growth. No visitor is present in this view, only the virtual life form. Each Ghost Flower is archived, and after each session, its visitors can register to enter a partnership with the flower that they were a part of creating, allowing them to revisit an artwork that continuously projects into the future. 

Each visit lasts for twenty minutes and can accommodate up to twenty people. Through their way of relating, listening, and vocalising, each group of visitors collectively provides a unique biotope for the Ghost Flower to grow in. Each Ghost Flower is a unique reflection of the relations and interactions of its own group of visitors. 

During each visit, a view of the currently growing Ghost Flower is streamed to a webpage, where remote viewers can follow its growth. No visitor is present in this view, only the virtual life form. Each Ghost Flower is archived, and after each session, its visitors can register to enter a partnership with the flower that they were a part of creating, allowing them to revisit an artwork that continuously projects into the future. 

The Garden’s Biosphere, the container that holds each new cycle of the Ghost Flowers life, exists in both the physical and the virtual simultaneously. A mixed-reality object (kept and maintained by a museum or any other private or public collection) securing the preservation of each evolutionary cycle of the biosphere to be experienced in its original manifestation.

The project relies on continuous workshops and conversations with philosophers, choreographers, voice therapists, and curators, as well as with audiences from the general public. In this way, the development of the project takes on a more conversational, or resonant form, making the production of the artwork closely aligned to the themes it explores.  

Human relations are mediated by technology. By positioning an artificial lifeform as an explicit mediator of these relations, who learns and reacts to its visitors, the encounter between the humans in the biosphere also involves meeting 'the more than human' in the technology itself. In the artwork this technology is used in a reflective and curious manner to create a framework for an acoustically mediated collective experience, using one of our most basic forms of human expression, our voices, to initiate a conversation on how these technologies make us.

During the visit, your voice will become an instrument that the Ghost Flower lives off. As a preparation, we invite you to not use your voice for one hour before entering the biosphere.

Dramaturg: Rachel Alexander 

Composer: Hara Alonso

Biosphere fabric-structure: Maria Lindqvist & Johanna Mårtensson

 

Co-production 

Manchester International Festival

 

Ongoing Research Programme 

Magasin III  ’Work in Progress’

Supported by:

Kulturbryggan - Swedish Art Grants Committee

Swedish Arts Council

City of Stockholm