Plants by Numbers:
Art, Computation, and Queer Feminist Technoscience
25 inspiring artists, designers, curators, theorists, activists and writers working with computation describe how we might make and imagine computational processes differently, or otherwise, through the co-production of artworks with plants.
This open access book takes a queer, feminist, and decolonial technoscience approach to the ecologies that emerge from our entanglements with nonhumans (air, rocks, algae, trees, soil and plants) and computational hard/software. In Plants by Numbers, artists and theorists working with computation address the urgent need to think beyond the human paradigm, opening up new fields of debate that question the troubled relationship between ecosystems and human technology.
The chapters intervene politically in the everyday technoscience practices through which plants are named, imaged, and emerge, such as AI, modeling, genetic engineering, and sensing. Amazing diatoms, spinning okras, and queer angles shape-shift plants as we know them, traversing empirical studies, infrastructure analysis, software critiques, and artistic research.
Organised around three key themes — techno-nature entanglements, plants as resistant agents, and becoming-with-plants — the volume provides a vital pathway through complex theoretical ideas that inform the practices of artists working in the fields of computation and ecology.
Fusing art theoretical and art practice approaches, the contributors describe how we might design, make and imagine computational processes differently, or otherwise, through the co-production of artworks with plants. Showing how these artworks might act as communicative media between the biological and technological, Plants by Numbers opens up new potential areas of research whilst producing new ethical-political engagements.
The book is available NOW full open access – and also in print from Nov 16. This is a resource we hope you will consider using in classrooms, spaces of practices or community.
With chapters by Stephanie Dinkins, Srimoyee Mitra, Elaine Gan, Amy Youngs, Possible Bodies, Jara Rocha and Femke Snelting, Jennifer Gabrys, Belinda Kwan, Stephanie Rothenberg, Regenerative Energy Communities, Helen V. Pritchard, Eric Snodgrass, Miranda Moss, Daniel Gustafsson, Ron Eglash, Audrey Bennett, Lionel Robert, Kwame Porter Robinson, Matthew Garvin, Mark Guzdial, Jane Prophet, Sina Seifee, Joel Ong, Kathleen McDermott Breakwater, Youngsook Choi and Taey Iohe.