A conversation between artist Alexandra Daisy Ginsberg and Hans Ulrich Obrist, Artistic Director, Serpentine.
In April 2022, artist Alexandra Daisy Ginsberg planted an Edition of Pollinator Pathmaker, a living sculpture made of plants, in Kensington Gardens. This was her commission for Serpentine’s ongoing Back to Earth project. This summer, Ginsberg is returning to Serpentine’s Pollinator Pathmaker edition, now in full bloom, for a conversation with Hans Ulrich Obrist which will focus on the intersection between ecology, technology and art, as well as the history and ongoing life of the work across communities and continents.
About Pollinator Pathmaker:
Pollinator Pathmaker is a one-of-a-kind experiment in interspecies art. A constantly expanding artwork in an unlimited edition, it is created for pollinators, planted and cared for by humans. For the Serpentine Edition of Pollinator Pathmaker, Ginsberg worked with horticulturists at the Eden Project, Cornwall, pollinator scientists and experts to curate a database of plants that supports pollinator populations local to the site of the artwork. Once the conditions of the Kensington Gardens site were agreed, Ginsberg’s custom-built computer algorithm used this database to create a unique planting design that supports the maximum number of pollinator species possible. The empathetic planting patterns that emerged offer local pollinators – including bees, moths, ants, wasps, and beetles – habitats to forage throughout the year, and arrangements which suit different pollinating styles.
You can create your own Pollinator Pathmaker DIY Edition using the planting algorithm at www.pollinator.art.
- Alexandra Daisy Ginsberg
Alexandra Daisy Ginsberg is a multidisciplinary artist examining our fraught relationships with nature and technology. Ginsberg’s work explores subjects as diverse as artificial intelligence, synthetic biology, conservation, and evolution, as she investigates the human impulse to ‘better’ the world.
Ginsberg spent over ten years experimentally engaging with the field of synthetic biology. Lead author of Synthetic Aesthetics: Investigating Synthetic Biology’s Designs on Nature (MIT Press, 2014), in 2017 she completed her PhD, Better, at the Royal College of Art, in which she interrogated how powerful dreams of “better” futures shape the present.
Pollinator Pathmaker has been awarded the S+T+ARTS Grand Prize for Artistic Exploration. A large-scale initiative of the European Commission, the S+T+ARTS Grand Prize for Artistic Exploration is awarded to artistic exploration and artwork that has a strong potential to influence or alter the use, deployment or perception of technology.
Ginsberg won the World Technology Award for Design in 2011, the London Design Medal for Emerging Talent 2012, and the Dezeen Changemaker Award 2019. Twice nominated for Designs of the Year (2011, 2015), her work has been described as “romantic, dangerous… and everything else that inspires us to change and question the world”. She has exhibited at MoMA, New York; the Museum of Contemporary Art, Tokyo;; the National Museum of China, Dongcheng; the Centre Pompidou, Paris; and the Royal Academy, London. Her first U.S. solo show opened in April 2023 at Toledo Museum of Art, Ohio. Her work is in permanent collections including the Art Institute of Chicago, the Cooper Hewitt Smithsonian Design Museum, New York, and ZKM, Karlsruhe.
- Curated and produced by
Kostas Stasinopoulos, Curator, Live Programmes.
Sarah Hamed, Assistant Exhibitions Curator.
Eva Speight, Curatorial Assistant.
Andy Downie, Production Manager.
Jordan Page, Events Manager.
Pollinator Pathmaker Serpentine Edition is funded by Serpentine, with support from Nicoletta Fiorucci Foundation and Google Arts & Culture. Pollinator Pathmaker was originally commissioned by the Eden Project and funded by Garfield Weston Foundation. Additional founding supporters are Gaia Art Foundation and collaborators Google Arts & Culture. International Edition Founding Commissioners are LAS Art Foundation.