Plant art, culture and politics
Some plants are exchanged as tokens of love, some are glorified as national emblems, while some are labeled as 'invasive' or 'pest'. We hope to plant some seeds of doubt regarding the conventionally accepted botanical labels and cultural consumption of specific plants in the Netherlands, and beat around the bush for a while as we expand our focus on the contexts in which such knowledge is formed.
Let us step into the messy jungle of contested meanings, conflicting interests, political agendas surrounding plants — the rich and dense culture of nature.
Queering the Aphrodisiac
As a part of our internship at Mediamatic we created a series of aphrodisiacs that is: 1) Queer - Targeting audience of different sexual orientations and physiques 2) Vegan - Instead of using animal male parts, using vegetal female or hermaphrodite parts as ingredients, in addition…
How Japanese Knotweed Came to Europe
A Mutant Ninja Plant in Leiden
Japanese knotweed, or Fallopia japonica— the most invasive plant in Europe. We now understand that water networks such as canals and climate change accelerate the propagation of Japanese knotweed via its rhizomes that get distributed through flowing water, and that the Dutch have unknowingly helped…
Japanese Knotweed; or, The Urban Frankenstein's "Monster"
Debunking urban lores surrounding the invasive plant
The plant is often described as the destructive force of nature that strangles and suffocates metal pipes from inside out and demolishes concrete buildings. Yet, reality is far from this horror story. In proposing the Japanese knotweed as the Dutch national flower , we examine the ways in which…
Re-cognizing Japanese Knotweed
Proposal to Proclaim Japanese Knotweed as the National Flower of the Netherlands
I search “Japanese Knotweed” on Google and the first article that pops up reads “Japanese Knotweed: How to control and remove it”. The Netherlands has been battling this beautiful and flourishing plant for a while, paying up to millions of euros per year to eradicate it (Ng)— why? Why not instead…