UPDATE: Data Garden received in October 2020 the INSPIRE PRIZE 2020 from the Metropolitan Organisation of Museums of Visual Arts of Thessaloniki, Greece – MOMus.
Can anyone think of the future of connectivity beyond surveillance, minimizing the consequences of technological infrastructures on the natural environment? Is it possible for the bond between human and non-human worlds on this planet to be substituted? Can plants, as organisms on which life itself is depended, contribute to the creation and adoption of new practices of an everyday life that is mediated by technology? Data Garden investigates this set of questions by recounting a fictitious narrative that contains elements of truth. The narrative of Data Garden unravels in spring 2020, amidst the global pandemic that brought the violent awareness of the extreme climate crisis.
An imaginary community of digital citizens stores its most valuable digital data in micromeria acropolitana – a small plant that is endemic on the Acropolis. The community protects the network of plants by concurrently defending its members’ right to self-disposal of information.
As the storage space transitions from the computational “cloud” to the Earth, and as control passes from the companies to the users, the life circle of data follows that of a plant, fostering a relation of interdependence and care. In a peculiar garden, users become the plants’ gardeners, whereas plants in their turn become gardeners of the stored information.
Data Garden was commissioned and produced by Onassis Stegi. The work has been presented as solo show in September 2020 in the exhibition space of Onassis Stegi in Athens, being also the Greek participation at Ars Electronica 2020.
Augmented Reality Portrait of an Invisible Plant Short excerpt to demonstrate the AR app.
Further information about the work, a virtual tour and a accompanying text by Daphne Dragona can be found here
On interspecies networks, affinities and affective infrastructures interviewed by Holly Willats for Delfina Foundation
Exhibition Review: Data Garden by Kyriaki Goni by Foteini Vergidou in Ferocious Urbanites
Data Garden by Stefanos Tsitsopoulos at Athens Voice (in Greek)