The Switched-On Garden

An interactive exhibition exploring the relationship between plants, music and technology.

On October 14, 2012 more than 1,200 participants joined us to wander Bartram’s Garden and connect with their natural environment through live music, performance and sculpture that blurred the distinction between biological and digital worlds.

Steven Litt: Crudblocks

An interactive, playable robotic drum sequencer making percussion instruments out of natural materials plucked from Bartram’s Garden.

Leslie Zacharkow and Kyle Stetz : Flora Catalogus

Nature assumes the role of John Bartram in this interactive sound collage. How would a solitary tree choose to catalogue its experience with us? Talk, sing, hum and make your presence known; hear how the tree responds.

Tim Eads & Austen Brown: Environmental Otological Research Device.beta.v01 (EORD.beta.v01)

Natural sounds kinetically driven by sculpture, processed and sampled, and triggered by natural occurrences. Three megaphone like objects placed in various locations in the Garden projected collected sounds towards a receiving station. The receiving station collects the projected sounds and amplifies them. Participants rotate the microphones at the receiving station allowing them to choose their preferred collection of sound and pitch. In addition, the rotation adjusts a sensor to expand or narrow the range of pitches being projected by each megaphone.

Sam Cusumano: Electricity for Progress

Sam Cusumano presents Electricity for Progress, an interactive educational experience in electronics.  Through direct interaction with modified children’s toys and custom circuits, Guests explore and ask questions about the common electronic objects in their world. Understand how your tools work!

Data Garden: Duet

Musical compositions generated by the electronic impulses produced by two tropical plants. Plants’ data interpreted by humans with the help of computers are employed to organize sound into beauty perceivable by the human ear.

Dan Scofield & Patrick Proctor: Newest Sounds of Nature

Newest Sounds of Nature is an 8-channel audio installation that allows participants to collectively improvise and manipulate sounds of the environment. Different plant species represent various sounds of nature, including rustling leaves, snapping branches, rambling brooks and chirping birds that are re-mixed to create a spatial, atmospheric experience ranging from the sublime to the cacophonous. The circular performance space encourages a unique choreography that can be enjoyed by one or many.

Klip Collective: Meadow 1.0

Onto an undulating mist of smoke, Klip projects images of glowing, flowing dots and other graphic elements that evoke the patterns and movements of hundreds of fireflies. An audio track of crickets and other insects accompanies this display. The audio and visuals begin as organic elements, imitating the natural world; but as time passes the sound begins to oscillate and pulsate as the firefly-like elements in the video line up in moving geometric patterns. After a period of intensely choreographed audio-visual activity, the sound and visuals again begin to mimic the natural world, at which point the loop begins again.

King Britt

Philadelphia producer, composer, performer and curator of electronic music explores sound design, noise and ambient.


Spaceship Aloha

Philadelphia producer/composer/percussionist Christopher Sean Powell (Man Man/Need New Body) teams up with Data Garden to bring you the maiden voyage of Spaceship Aloha.


Laura Baird, Allen Crawford, Dino Lionetti (Cheap Dinosaurs), and Gretchen Lohse

Theremin, GameBoy and treated viola provide the backdrop for an essay inspired by Bartram’s Garden

Cosmic Morning

Renowned visualist and educator Don Miller presents a special lightshow that revisits the roots of modern VJ culture.

+ DJ Ryan Todd

International crate digger and electronic music producer Ryan Todd provides natural grooves on Ginko Tree Hill.