The Critical Gardening Collective is a new collective between members [[Thierry Bardini]], [[Francois-Joseph Lapointe]], [[Beatriz Herrera]], and [[Matthew Halpenny]]. Each member brings unique experience from the varying fields of Media Theory, Microbiology, Ceramics, and Ecology. The members work between the realms of theory, science, and art-making; building on a fringe tradition of the research-creation laboratory, a space where science, technology, and art intersect under the tenants of [[Critical Making]]. #### Cybryonts The collective's current research-creation project, [[Towards a Fourth Nature]] proposes a creation of [[Cybryonts]]- a [[Sympoiesis]] between [[Bipolar Mosses]] (bryophytes), cybernetic sculptures, and [[Microbial Fuel Cells]], in short, creatures of the Anthropocene, as a way to problematize its very notions. Our ultimate goal, (quite unrealistic today) is the production of a closed system of power and metabolic co-dependencies between living mosses and sculpture with the help of the microbial fuel cells. We are focusing on two main research questions: (1) what is the future of the bipolar bryophytes, in a time of global warming? And (2) What are, concretely, the possibilities of producing cybryonts? We will tackle these questions within a theoretical framework hybridizing Studies of Science and Technology ([[STS]]), Art, and [[Critical Making]]. #### Prototypes We aim to build humble machines to perform the material conditions necessary for a cybernetic moss garden in the fourth nature. Our experimental prototyping within the context of [[Research-Creation]] is a process of learning and [[Critical Making]] through tangible construction and testing. Through creating [[Cybryonts]] one also slowly learns how all systems and industrial processes intertwine. [Prototype Gallery]( #### Research-Creation This [[Research-Creation]] stems at the intersection of different epistemic cultures: communications sciences, intermedia arts, robotics, biology and environmental sciences. It will thus be of interest to different communities of peers. Its potential contributions in advancing knowledge are both at the very concrete and practical level (it will interest gardeners, biohackers, and all kinds of amateurs) and at the theoretical level (especially in media studies). As a form of Research-Creation, this project aims at producing aesthetic value as well as knowledge, and aesthetic value as knowledge, beyond the practice/theory divide. Without falling into the traps of systematic and disincarnated criticism, we will articulate the trans-disciplinary and hands-on experience of critical gardening, our special breed of critical making. #### Critical Gardening "Critical Garden Studies acts as sites for new and interdisciplinary research methodologies that incorporate research-creation, qualitative, and quantitative methods and often prioritize embodied and experiential research. The working group will critically consider different types of garden sites such as community gardens, landscape gardens, urban wilds, botanical gardens, with attention to garden design and maintenance, creation and evolution in social-historical contexts, as well as their decision-making and organizational structure. In addition, attention will be paid to gardens as sites of pedagogy, resilience, food security and sustainability programs, as well as forms of media and artistic engagement." - Jill Didur #### Digital Gardening As critical gardeners we believe in open source and transparency. This *Digital Garden* will let you navigate our research-creation process. While gardening is viewed as primarily dealing with verdant material, the concept is now inseperable from the digital. The idea that human, technology, and nature are contributing to the [[Anthropocene]] is not a new concept, but one that requires paradoxically both urgency and [[Slowness]]. Our network is relatable to that of the artists [[Rasa Smite and Raitis Smits]] in their work <a href="" target="_blank">The Renewable Network Map<a>. ![[Internal/Assets/renewableMap.png]] **You can find a network tree of all related topics here along with a table of contents >**