Represented Artist 2015-2016
Motivated by respectful collaboration with the natural world, I draw on personal experiences with agriculture, ecological activism, and landscape studies. I see plants not as mere landscape but as individuals, the allure of technology as a social reality, and I am drawn to the contradiction when contextualized with ideas of nature. I delight in discoveries where tensions between humanity and the natural world are reconciled. Where are the slippages between nature and technology? How can the landscape accommodate both realities?
My recent work uses technological mediation to search for new forms of communication with the natural world. Aided by electronic sensors and algorithms, I engage with individual organisms through processes of signaling, listening, and interpreting. The work materializes as texts written in collaboration with trees, video performances of attempted dialogues with the landscape, and sound installations of distant and displaced forests.
Driven by research, my work is a process of open inquiry. I work through ideas materially or performatively, creating ecosystems of interrelated projects. I choose my materials meticulously, with a concern for the embedded history. Live plants, wood, paper and text form tentative relationships that are strengthened when performed, printed, engraved, and sonified.
Ubiquitous computing has altered our understanding of the landscape, affording opportunities to ‘listen’ to places and objects which were previously unavailable. Our communication methods approach the rhizomatic, and our queries of the landscape are becoming more digital. As our methods of communication merge with those of plants, I look for new myths considering a culturally evolving relationship within the natural world.
Attempting impossible conversations, I seek not necessarily coherent communication, but the discoveries that unfold from these gestures of exchange.
About Lindsey French:
Lindsey French is a Chicago-based artist and educator. Engaging in gestures of communication with landscapes and the nonhuman, her work spans a variety of media including video, performance, audio sculpture, and generative literature. French has exhibited and presented work at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Chicago, the Chicago Cultural Center, the Pico House Gallery at El Pueblo de Los Angeles Historical Monument in Los Angeles, and in conjunction with the International Symposium of Electronics Arts in Albuquerque. Her work has been featured in an essay in Leonardo in “Object Intermediaries: How New Media Artists Translate the Language of Things” by Kayla Anderson. Her forthcoming essay “The Ecological Necessity of Here: Site Specificity in Meghan Moe Beitiks Track and Trails” will be published by Out of Site Chicago. She is a recipient of a Propeller Fund in Chicago as a collaborator with The Plug-In Studio, was a nominee of the 2013 Clare Rosen & Samuel Edes Foundation Prize for Emerging Artists, and has been an artist in residence at ACRE in Steuben, Wisconsin. French currently teaches courses that explore new media practices and site specific research at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago in the Art and Technology and Contemporary Practices departments.