Biometric Data Entry, Jardim Botanico Funchal
biometric recording data prints, body extensions
When we perceive an environment we experience a whole sea of relation: of the wind touching our skin, of a multitude of sights, odors and sounds that weave into an impression of the place. The conscious mind-body can also adapt to new configurations of environment that may prove important for survival, or form apocryphal sensory tendencies as a catalyst for evolution.
The herbarium in Funchal holds a collection of preserved plant specimens and taxidermized animals dating back to the 16th century, and can be understood to be a fingerprint of the history of colonization and acclimatization of plant species from colonial travels that passed through the island. This exhibition places documentation of our own biometric data recorded while traversing some of the most radical climates of the island, in the cloud forests of the upper altitudes, alongside centuries-old colonial plant specimens.
We wished to trace a line from the Linnaean taxonomy system of the 18th century to contemporary smart devices and surveillance technologies, questioning the certainty that science can deliver ultimate truths about nature through collection and categorization.
The project Sensory Cartographies is an ongoing collaboration between myself and Sissel Marie Tonn. In this project we seek to explore extreme and information-rich sensory environments through the motions of biometric recordings. At the center of the project is the creation of worn instrumentations that attempt to address notions of collection, categorization and navigation from originating the in colonial “golden age” of botany, to the biometric
measurement and monitoring technologies today.