The Sensitive Screen
2012

The Sensitive Screen is an installation designed to decouple the rhetoric of speed and efficiency from the rhetoric of technology and to explode the tired distinction between nature and technology. It is a functional digital screen, in the literal sense of presenting information in 0s and 1s (or on/off, yes/no, etc). Yet most digital screens run at 24 or 30 frames per second -- that is, they present 30 discreet images every second, which through persistence of vision gives the illusion of motion. The Sensitive Screen operates on a different time-frame. The 'pixels' of the screen are made with the remarkable touch-reactive plant Mimosa Pudica and computer-controlled motors -- the plants close when brushed by the motors, creating the 'off pixels' as opposed to the 'on pixels' of the still-open plants. The rate at which images appear on the screen is constrained by the biology of the Mimosa Pudica, which take about ten minutes to reopen. The Sensitive Screen, therefore, runs at the (intentionally and hilariously) slow rate of six frames per hour.