The Unwanted Ecology

The Unwanted Ecology (powered by Solar Panel and sound installation responsive to humidity sensor), 2017
Launched in KIASMA for Hello World! Ars 17
Size: 45cm dia* 100cm ht

This self-sustainable sound biosphere consists of weed plants, which have been collected, in a 20min-walking radius from my studio, which is based on a paddy field in North Goa. Goa lies in the Western Ghats (also known as Sahyadri meaning The Benevolent Mountains) is a mountain range that runs parallel to the western coast of the Indian peninsula. It is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and is one of the eight “hottest hot-spots” of biological diversity in the world and has over 7,402 species of flowering plants, 1,814 species of non-flowering plants, 139 mammal species, 508 bird species, 179 amphibian species, 6,000 insects species, and 290 freshwater fish species; it is likely that many undiscovered species live in the Western Ghats. At least 325 globally threatened species occur in the Western Ghats.
This electronic glass-encased biosphere contains twenty unwanted plants termed often as “Weed”, powered by a solar panel. Each Weed plant in the bottle has been converted into their own sound frequency, which is layered by white noise that modulates in sound levels with a change of humidity. This book, which carries information about the plant’s medicinal/nutritional and other applications, accompanies the interactive self-sustainable biosphere. It also contains weed recipes that can be incorporated in our daily life.
“A weed is a plant considered undesirable in a particular situation, “a plant in the wrong place”. Examples commonly are plants unwanted in human-controlled settings, such as farm fields, gardens, lawns, and parks. The term also is applied to any plant that grows or reproduces aggressively or is invasive outside its native habitat. “Weed” occasionally is applied pejoratively to species outside the plant kingdom, species that can survive in diverse environments and reproduce quickly; in this sense, it has even been applied to humans.”-wiki. This statement led me to create a symbiotic relationship between them. If a plant that can tolerate high temperatures flourish in the least amount of water, aggressively spread without much care, and have nutritional/medicinal benefits, it would be a benefit on a global level.
Ethnobotany is the study of the relationship between plants and people. Quite a number of plants considered as weeds in modern sciences have significant value in ethnobotany. Weeds are very common, dominant, and widespread in the crop fields and also seen in a lot of urban cities. Imagine if we could walk out from our homes pick up a medicinal weed for our ailments that are growing in a common park in a major urban city. The awareness of potent medicines that lie in our backyards and rejected by us on a daily basis due to lack of knowledge could change a dynamic of urban and rural scapes. Local medicine healers are disappearing without much documentation of this ancient research. Though research work on medicinal plants has intensified, our human ecology still hasn’t deeply explored its relationship to these plants that are rejected by our human ecology on a day-to-day basis.
I also see the possibility of this project expanding with every city this piece travels to. To collect local weeds and document their medicinal/nutritional properties would work towards increasing local understanding of their own surroundings.

This book is a research about 20 weed plants which carry information about the plants medicinal/nutritional and other application, accompanies the interactive self-sustainable biosphere. It also contains weed recipes that can be incorporated in our daily life.


Sound Design: Kari Rae Seekins
All objects have a natural vibratory rate that flows through them. Using frequency as a transformative and healing modality revolves around the idea that part of the body is in a state of vibration. When choosing a medicine or technique to heal part of the body that might be in a state of “dissonance” one can work with frequencies that will bring the body back into a state of harmony, as described by Richard Gordon, author of Quantum-Touch: The Power to Heal: When two systems are oscillating at different frequencies, there is an impelling force called resonance that causes the two to transfer energy from one to another. When two similarly tuned systems vibrate at different frequencies, there is another aspect of this energy transfer called entrainment, which causes them to line up and to vibrate at the same frequency.
Before embarking on finding the resonant healing frequencies I studied with David Gibson, founder of the Globe Sound and Consciousness Institute in San Francisco and the Sound Healing Research Foundation. Through him, I learned that though there are scientific ways to find the specific resonant frequencies of organic objects, (for example this could be done with MRI,) however no one has performed those studies yet, and the methods are still in their early development stages. In his vast experience of working with frequencies, he has found that intuitive means of finding the frequencies are extremely effective when used for healing purposes. I witnessed in one of his classes when a group of students were asked to find the resonant frequencies of various organs and organic objects, that the collective group consistently reached similar frequencies for each object. This proved that an intuitive approach could be effective in reaching a common understanding of a resonant frequency of an object.
The Unwanted Ecology, we are using the healing frequencies of the presented herbs to make them assessable to the viewer through the means of sound. In the composition, the frequencies (created by a tone generator) are ordered alphabetically by the herb they are connected to and seamlessly crossfade from one frequency to another. Layered onto the pure frequencies of the herbs are recordings made at the nature site in Goa where the herbs were gathered. In nature recordings, there are three primary frequencies (metered using a visual frequency analyzer) that are made by the insects and amphibians in the environment: 2000Hz, 3600Hz, and 7700Hz. This environmental ambience recording offers a reference point to how the healing frequencies of the herbs harmonize with the other living beings in their environment.



Project Conceptualizer and Visualizer
Nandita Kumar
Co-Author/Scientific and Medical Writer
Anjali Singh Uttamchandani
Book Editor
Jyotsna Nambiar
Book Design and Layout
Meet Gala
Mikhail Rodrigues
Priyal Prāna
Sound Design
Kari Rae Seekins
Circuit Board Design
Subhadeep Biswas
All Rights Reserved@ Copyrights 2008 NANDITA KUMAR