In this project we explore the relationships between consciousness, body and environment, as mediated by the filtration mechanisms of the senses.

In February of 2016 we traveled to the cloud forests of Madeira in order to create a contemporary entry into the herbarium of the Jardim Botanico in Funchal. The herbarium holds an archive of conserved plant species and taxidermized animals dating back to the 16th century, and serves as a blueprint of the history of colonization and acclimatization of plant species from the New World.

In Madeira we created worn biometric and body-extension instruments to challenge the body’s conditioned attention in a playful way. We see them as wayfinding apparatuses for reshaping a worldview – knowing momentarily without focus – creating an alternative cartography that is attentive to subtle fluctuations of change. We used these instruments to create a durational site-specific performance that became the point of departure for a video essay about the act of mapping.

The trip culminated with an exhibition in the natural history museum of the botanical gardens, where we exhibited our instruments and annotated biometric data logs side-by-side with century-old archived plant specimens, as a contemporary entry into their collection.

See ongoing research document: