Yvonne Volkart. Technologies of Care: To M-other a Plant

“I wanted to mother a plant,” summarizes bio artist Špela Petrič of her intention for the plant-based project Phytoteratology. In saying so, she claims to both cross the gap between humans, machines, and non-machines, and to install a generative, tender, and inclusive relation to the Other. But would the plants perceive it the same way? Discussing this project, I try to develop a more-than-human aesthetics of care.

Dr Yvonne Volkart lectures in art and media theory at FHNW Academy of Art and Design in Basel, where she has led the Swiss National Science Foundation research project “Ecodata–Ecomedia–Ecoesthetics. The Role and Significance of New Media, Technologies and Technoscientific Methods in the Arts for the Perception and Awareness of the Ecological” (2017–2020). Her concerns lie in the modes of how aesthetics, ecology, technology, and feminism come together and bring us in relation to the world.