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Mapping (with) Plants

The five contributions pose questions about the role of botany and its Eurocentric stamp from an artistic and artistic/theoretical perspective. They debate the domestication of wild growth (relating to plants and in the wider sense) in taxonomies and botanical gardens (Lange-Berndt, Rönicke). Agrarian models and ideas of landscape: circa 1900, an eco-feminist/political mode of thought was setting fallowness and necessary nonproductiveness against forms of exploitation (Lindeborg). We learn about plants, seeds, and territories as power constellations, from an artistic and human rights activist perspective (Durham). The fact that plants are currently the focus of cultural-theoretical and philosophical attention is not only owing to criticism of the Anthropocene – of the shape of the Earth as ‚made’ by human beings, with far-reaching problems such as climate change – but also, significantly, the increasing intermeshing of human being and machine: feeling, subjectivity, sensitivity, and affectivity are no longer the privilege of humanity; they have long since been divided into a nature-culture, which includes the human animal and digital apparatus along with plants, bacteria, parasites (Angerer).

Saturday, 15. July 2017

11.00 h
Welcome and Introduction
Hanne Loreck (Professor of Science of Arts and Culture, Gender Studies, HFBK Hamburg) and Jana Seehusen (Artist, author, doctorate student HFBK Hamburg)

11.30 h
Fallow Field
Lecture by Sara Lindeborg (Artist, M.A. alumna HFBK Hamburg, Malmö)

12.15 h
Intensive Milieus
Lecture by Marie-Luise Angerer (Professor of Media Theory, Universität Potsdam)

13.00 h

14.15 h
Botanical Drift: Walking Kew Gardens
Lecture by Petra Lange-Berndt (Professor of Modern and Contemporary Art, Art History Seminar, Universität Hamburg and curator)

15.00 h
The Cloud Document
Lecture by Pia Rönicke (Artist, Copenhagen)

16.00 h
Heavy Footsteps
Lecture by Jimmie Durham (Artist, poet, writer and human rights activist, Berlin)

17.00 h – Lerchenfeld 2, Bibliothek/Library
Exhibition and book release
The exhibition features a variety of artistic examinations of plants. Whilst these artworks are dedicated to a traditional artistic subject, they also take a critical, questioning attitude to their representations in art, science, and society, in order to open up looking at plants to be regarded as a means of connection that can subvert conventional taxonomies.
With contributions by Anika Bartens, Elena Bösenberg, Birke Gorm, Anna Grath, Nina Kuttler, Anne Linke, Hayato Mizutani, Fion Pellacini, Kervin Saint Pere, Wiebke Schwarzhans und Katharina Swoboda


The symposium is accompanied by an extensive publication bringing together arts and media theory and philosophical essays resulting from artistic/theoretical research. Close readings and viewings actualise the marginalised artistic positions of female artists from the circa 1900 period who also saw themselves as botanists. Young artists from the HFBK Hamburg each ask their own questions about the poetry of the plant or its useful aspects. Additionally, this volume contributes to revising Eurocentrism and colonial power expressed within and through botany as a discipline of the natural sciences. The extensive collection of folio volumes and pattern books in the HFBK Hamburg library provides a wonderful backup archive on the historical role of natural studies in ornamental stylisation in art and their teaching.

Edited by Hanne Loreck, Andrea Klier, Sara Lindeborg
With contributions by Marie-Luise Angerer, Angela Anzi, Anika Bartens, Elena Bösenberg, Birke Gorm, Anna Grath, Donna J. Haraway, Sarah Hablützel, Andrea Klier, Sophie Krambrich, Nina Kuttler, Sara Lindeborg, Anne Linke, Hanne Loreck, Fion Pellacini, Pia Rönicke, Wiebke Schwarzhans, Saskia Senge, Katharina Swoboda, Gesa Troch, Lea von Wintzingerode, Catherine de Zegher
Graphic design: Julian Mader, Max Prediger
180 pages with numerous black and white and colour images
Published by Materialverlag, Hamburg
Information + order »

Idea + Concept: Hanne Loreck
Organization: Jana Seehusen

The publication is generously funded by Hubertus Wald Stiftung.