Earthcode – Rooted Computing


The cognitive neuroscientist Michael A. Persinger formulated a hypothesis that the link between human beings and the earth is so strong that a new geomagnetic field around the Earth could directly influence human conscience. On the basis of this theory, Martin Howse, mentor of the platform micro_research, has proposed an ambitious project. It consists of the employment of elemental materials to give life to new technological tools, more connected to the substratum where all existing forms meet up. In particular Howse has created an earthboot, that is to say a specific device (connectable through a USB port) that allows (almost) all computers to turn on directly from the earth. After his first success, he was encouraged to give life to a series of experiments, to make an “Earth computer” – a computer whose common parts (memory, power supply, CPU, etc.) are made with organic materials taken from the substratum. But the most surprising project is Earthcode. Thought of as a sort of codified monument, Earthcode is imagined as a huge installation that should last many years in a forest: a large mechanical arm that collides with the ground, digging up the soil according to variations in the surrounding environment (changes of seasons, the growth of the flora, the movements of the local fauna, etc.) codified by computers that control and operate the shovel. Is this the ultimate frontier of land art?

Vito Campanelli