for cello, violin, electric guitar, performer, reactive electronics and a specimen of Crassula Ovata (10’).
A wordless musical theater experiment for plants and people.
Premier at "Den elektroakustiska konsertserien" fortsätter på KMH - Kungl. Musikhögskolan (2023)
It is a piece inspired by current scientific experiments and new discoveries about plants.
In this case, a laboratory has discovered how to accelerate the growth rate of a crassula ovata specimen by modifying its epigenetic material, imprinting new memories that will be inherited by clones of the same plant.
The experiment aims to accelerate plant growth in order to produce more in less time and to achieve rapid regeneration of plant tissues.
The audience can observe the workers in their lab conducting the experiment.
Plants have no nervous system, but they are able to monitor, memorise and anticipate environmental changes on a cellular level. The CRASSULA-MEMORY experiment (Role of Pc-G and Trx-G genes in cellular memory of extrinsic signals in plants) studies how plants react to ultraviolet (UV) radiation, disease, drugs and sonic stress, and how they retain that information.
Two of the main mechanisms of cellular memory are the genetic make-up and epigenetic modification of chromatin. Epigenetic changes can be copied during cell development and replication, which ultimately helps the plant retain a 'memory' of its reaction to an external event.
The CRASSULA-MEMORY lab has discovered a way in which crassula ovata plant species can accelerate the rate of cell growth after their first exposure to stresses of different nature, allowing for rapid tissue generation (which also implies regeneration).
It is planned to extend this prototype experiment to other species in the near future, including to humans beings,
once it is demonstrated that the species do not undergo major mutations.
Inspired by the CORDIS EU project - PLANT-MEMORY (Role of Pc-G and Trx-G genes in the cellular memory of extrinsic signals in plants) project.
pictures by Andrea Guu