artist statement

Motivated by respectful collaboration with the natural world, I draw on a background of landscape studies and ecological activism to engage in gestures of communication with landscapes and the nonhuman. My practice is an open series of projects and research aimed toward decentering a human-centric experience, to practice and propose alternatives to human-centered ecosystems, in an era of climate change and ecological crises.

My work situates me sensually in different roles among plants, landscapes, and other materials as media, message, and facilitator of communication. I want to focus on feeling because it moves us away from communication being strictly cognitive. In some alteration of the one who feels, I work with a poison ivy plant and its toxic urushiol, using my skin as a media for chemical communication. This strategy becomes a shared practice in the form of urushiol tattoos. In written by trees I am an editor and listener, reversing literary gestures by querying an oak tree in a durational project using sensors, custom software, and algorithmic gestures. In phytovision and concert for plants by plants I am a facilitator of phytocentric attention, reworking human-centered cultural objects such as concerts, cinema and television for plant perception.

I find my role as a human role in a global ecosystem contingent, uncertain. From this profound vulnerability I practice new myths of identity, assert quiet opposition, hover in the slippages between self and environment, and engage in practices of active and sensual listening.

1 From Steven Shaviro, The Universe of Things, 2010, "A feeling always involves some alteration of the one who feels."

bio

Lindsey french is an artist and educator whose work engages in gestures of communication with landscapes and the nonhuman. Embracing a number of mediation strategies, her projects materialize as texts written in collaboration with trees, scent transmissions, performative lectures, and video documentation of dialogues with landscapes. She has shared her work in places such as the Museum of Contemporary Art and the International Museum of Surgical Science in Chicago, Vox Populi in Philadelphia, and in conjunction with the International Symposium of Electronics Arts in both Albuquerque and Vancouver. Her work has been featured in an essay in Leonardo and discussed on podcasts for Creative Disturbance. Currently, teaches courses that explore new media practices and site-specific research as an Adjunct Assistant Professor at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago in the Art and Technology Studies, Sculpture, and Contemporary Practices Departments.

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