Conflict, Collapse and Care: Co-creating NatureCulture in the 21st-century
Margaretha Haughwout / USA
My personal and collaborative practice operates at the intersections of technology and wilderness in the interest of imagining possibilities for human and ecological survival. I draw from legacies found in conceptual art, socially engaged art, and biological art to work across many media, complicating divisions between the technological and the natural. I understand practice to be the work of trying over time to make one’s engagements better, and survival to require flourishing multi-species cohabitation, mutuality and care.
My ‘practice of survival’ engages with electrical and political power, interactive narratives, and cultivation of biological systems.
I seek out horizontal projects that emphasize intersubjectivity and exist in a tension with totalizing viewpoints. Two of my active collaborations include the Coastal Reading Group — readers from different coasts who trouble the subjects of wilderness, speciation, humanness and ways of knowing — and the Guerrilla Grafters. The Guerrilla Grafters graft fruit bearing branches onto sterile, urban fruit trees. Hayes Valley Farm, active from 2010 to 2013, was an interim-use urban permaculture farm in downtown San Francisco, where we cultivated low input ecological systems and developed a unique lateral governance structure while still navigating complex hierarchical politics with city agencies.