An update from Ryan Hughes

Office for Art, Design and Technology’s Post-Modern Plant Life

Office for Art, Design and Technology is an artist-led initiative founded by Ryan Hughes which has been facilitated by City Arcadia through a R&D Commission. Office for Art, Design and Technology has now started delivering public activities, the first of which was Post-Modern Plant Life: An Artist Lab and Events Programme (AKA #PoMoPLLab2) which was generously funded by Warwick District Council.

#PoMoPLLab2 took place from the 18th to the 24th of April in a Botanical Gardens in Leamington Spa and was the first occasion on which Office for Art, Design and Technology’s Professional Development Cohort came together to make and present new works and receive mentoring. The group is diverse and is made up of young, emerging artists and students from London, Belfast and across the West Midlands. Between them this group work with wet process photography, computer code, performance, video, sound and sculpture and their range of responses to the unique setting of the gardens was stunning; Emily Roderick presented microscopic views of foliage during a performance which used modified hardware, specially written software and an improvised exploration of the usually off-limits areas of the gardens. Tony McClure used lighting and wax to fill negative spaces beneath rocks and Imogen Frost produced a series of photograms of plants in a makeshift darkroom she constructed in a cupboard.

There were many other highlights from this week long artist lab, but perhaps most engaging was a participatory workshop delivered by Glasgow based Jake Watts. This workshop used the principles of seed bombing to consider the effects global, networked technologies are having on the earth. This resulted in the mapping of bird faeces and the physical and metaphorical growth of both plants and change in the town.
Office for Art, Design and Technology’s Professional Development Cohort will be completing and presenting similar activities through 2016, 2017 and into 2018.

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