Canadian artist Wendy DesChene and American artist Jeff Schmuki began practicing as PlantBot Genetics in 2009. Raised with strong connections to the land around them, lent an easy beginning to their collaboration. Wendy is part indigenous people of Canada and her father built an off-grid cabin in the deep forest of Ontario where the family has spent several months every year since she was a toddler. Jeff was raised in the Sonora Desert of Arizona, an environment of extremes that nurtured a unique relationship to the fragile landscape and a respect for our limited natural resources.
PlantBot Genetics create installations, interventions, and collaborations that combine activism, research, and social space fostering discussion and ecological awareness. By linking environmental issues to a diverse array of creative operations and tactics, DesChene + Schmuki extend the “knowledge of the moment”, demonstrates the fragile connection between the natural world and personal action, and offers simple, positive changes that can be enacted to increase sustainability — an activity that can be replicated long after the artists have moved on.
PlantBot Genetics has exhibited and/or completed projects at the Carnegie Museum of Art in Pittsburgh, The Pulitzer Foundation for Art in St Loius, the Goethe Institute of Cairo, Egypt, and the Bach Modern in Austria. In 2010, a significant contribution to their body of work was produced at the American Academy in Rome as visiting artists. Recent exhibitions include Foodture at the Elaine L Jacob Gallery of Wayne State University in Detroit, Michigan and PlantBot Genetics: a Critical Contact Exhibition Series at the Cafritz Foundation Arts Center in Takoma Park, Maryland, and artist lectures and studio visits at Long Island University in Brookville, New York. Public projects while artists in residence at The Hafnarborg Art Center and Museum in Iceland and the McColl Center for the Arts in Charlotte, North Carolina has gained invitations to the Landscape Laboratory at Buitenwerkplaats in the Netherlands, the KulttuuriKauppila Art Center in Il, Finland as well as St. Norbert College in Green Bay, Wisconsin where socially engaged environmental research was supported by an Art Works NEA grant.
Auburn, AL USA