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Pedro Neves Marques


Pedro Neves Marques
The Pudic Relation Between Machine and Plant (2016)
2 min. 30 sec., video loop, sound.
With the kind support of King's College Centre for Robotics Research, London, UK.

Courtesy Galleria Umberto Di Marino, Naples, Italy

This short-film shows a simple looped scene where a robotic hand touches repeatedly a “sensitive plant” – Mimosa Pudica – a species characteristic for closing on itself when touched or in low light. The plant’s name answers to Carl Linnaeus sexual taxonomy of plants: pudica referring both to the external sexual organs and shyness or modesty. In a poem written by Erasmus Darwin (Charles Darwin’s grandfather) titled The Loves of the Plants (1789), this plant is associated, jokingly, with British Botanist Joseph Banks’s famous sexual adventures when on his botanical expedition to the tropics. Native to South America, due to the period’s sea travels today this sensitive plant is an invasive species in Southeast Asia, Australia and the Pacific, precisely the geography where Banks had his sexual adventures.

The film was shot at King’s College Robotics Department, with a metamorphic robot hand.


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