Inliquid Projects

Corn EMO @ OCP

Corn EMO

Leslie Birch


July 19 – September 30

Old City Publishing vestibule
628 N. Second Street, Philadelphia

Corn EMO (Electronically Modified Organism)

We’ve all noticed the volatile weather caused by climate change here in Philadelphia. Thanks to the Climate & Urban System Partnership (CUSP), I was introduced to Daniel Bader, a research analyst with the Center for Climate Systems Research at Columbia University. One of the surprising things I discovered in our conversations was the concern for our food crops. In Corn EMO, I imagine our climate changing future with corn as a sentient plant, able to sense and communicate future weather forecasts. The corn does this communication through the silk on its forming cobs—yellow indicating clear weather, blue indicating rain, white indicating cloudy. The magic is done through an Arduino compatible microcontroller with WiFi capability. How will the future climate affect your favorite food? Let me know! @zengirl2 #CornEMO

Artist Bio

Leslie Birch has had many careers, from doing educational work at a zoo, writing and performing theatre, and even producing public television. However, her life was forever changed when she attended WIRED magazine’s NEXTFest in 2006. She was entranced by waltzing robots, mapped projections and electronic art. She started to experiment with soft circuits, and eventually had a workshop, Crafting Electricity, with Leah Buechley, the inventor of the Lilypad Arduino microcontroller. She was smitten, and her love of electronics continues. She creates tutorials for Adafruit, a DIY electronics company and also blogs about wearables and citizen science. She is continuing her research on climate change and other environmental issues to help prepare for what’s ahead. You can find her eating blueberry whole-wheat pancakes at Honey’s or messing with the latest tech @The_Hacktory. Check out more of her work at lesliebirch.com.