Les Pissenlits, 1990

© Edmond Couchot, Michel Bret, Foto: ZKM | Zentrum für Kunst und Medien Karlsruhe

In the interactive work Les Pissenlits by Edmond Couchot (1932, Paris, FR – 2020) and Michel Bret (1941, Lyon, FR – 1990), digital umbels of dandelion shown on a screen are gently scattered by a virtual breeze corresponding to the real breath that the spectator directs at the screen via a microphone. The installation does not capture the actual physical breath of the spectator, but the mere sound of it and translates it onto the screen, which shows the seeds flying way. New umbels grow again ready to undergo the puff of a new interaction.

Les Pissenlits marks the turn from mimetic to morphogenetic art: It goes beyond the mere imitation of forms occurring in nature as it simulates the dissemination and growing process of the plants. What cannot be seen on the screen are the underlying genetic algorithms and mathematical formulas which define the form of the plants in their growing process.

In collaboration with ZKM I Center for Art and Media Karlsruhe.