Lindsey M French
BA, 2010, Hampshire College, Amherst MA; MFA, 2013, School of the Art Institute of Chicago, Chicago IL. Exhibitions/Screenings/Performances: Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago; International Museum of Surgical Science, Chicago; Sector 2337, Chicago; Vox Populi, Philadelphia; Flying Object, Hadley MA; Pico House Gallery, Los Angeles. Bibliography: Hyperallergic; Leonardo; Midwest Society for Acoustic Ecology; Smith College Botanical Garden. Interviews: Bad at Sports; INSIDE/WITHIN; Creative Disturbance Podcast. Publications: International Symposium on Electronic Literature; Joan Flasch Artists’ Book Collection. Awards: Propeller Fund Grant Recipient as Collaborator; Faculty Enrichment Grant SAIC; Catwalk Residency; ACRE Residency.
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 of those, in a context 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.
Attempting impossible conversations, I seek not necessarily coherent communication, but the discoveries that unfold from these gestures of exchange.
My practice uses technological mediation to investigate forms of communication with the natural world. Invested in a layered understanding of cultural, ecological, and digital landscapes, I draw on environmental historians such as William Cronin; landscape theorists such as Ann Whiston Sprin and John T. Lyle; new media theorists such as Lev Manovich; and Jane Bennet's ideas of New Materialism. I look to understand the realities of digital culture within the complex landscapes of ecological and social histories.
Disclaimer: All work represents the views of the INDIVIDUAL ARTISTS & AUTHORS who created them, and are not those of the school or museum of the Art Institute.