The Algorithmic Gardener: Tales of Nature and Code


Session Title:

  • Robots

Presentation Title:

  • The Algorithmic Gardener: Tales of Nature and Code



  • (Short paper)

    Keywords: Critical gardening, Taurus dexterous robot, weeds, gardens, robots, new media art, nature, technology, narratives, culture, algorithms, translation, metaphors, visual culture, synthetic vision.

    The Algorithmic Gardener – Tales of Nature and Code is a collaborative new media installation that is currently being developed by the authors and Juan Wachs, a roboticist and computer vision expert in Purdue University’s School of Industrial Engineering. Using a two-armed robot with stereoscopic vision capabilities programmed to autonomously identify and pull weeds, the project investigates an emerging visual culture defined by synthetic ways of seeing and the material realities such seeing might produce. Conceptually, The Algorithmic Gardener focuses on the translation of a cultural concept, that of weeds, and its many connotations (from agriculture, to real estate to social contexts) into robotic action code. These algorithms, executed by the robot, merge culture and technology into tangible outcomes: a series of ideologically-laden micro-gardens that can activate agricultural, political and environmental narratives, metaphors and materializations for 21st century relationships between nature and technology.

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