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“The Garden of Lost Species  &Words" intervenes in our shared experience that cuts through the present moment: the disappearance of species from the earth and our collective memory.  ​Driven by a shared interest to acknowledge the rapidly declining environment, the exhibit draws on artists who ground their interests into their practices, generating different viewpoints.  The works in the exhibition employ a multiplicity of sensory languages, including visual, poetic, sonic, and performative, and explore the relationships between humans and non-human lives.  The exhibition explores art as a catalyst  for creating a space of new kinship, intimacy, and belonging between human and non-human kins. 

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We live in a time when human activity has irrevocably altered life on Earth, and has ushered in a new epoch as our temporal companion.  As Timothy Morton notes in "And You May Be Living in an Age of Mass Extinction (All Art is Ecological, 2018)", what does it mean to live with each other, and with the non-human kins in a time marked by the erasure that has increasingly become the part of everyday ? And what is the place of art as we shift from witnessing the series of unfathomable climatic catastrophes unfolding, and working towards slow down the process?  


Rather than posing answers, the artists here acts as translators, priests, and collaborators with other species, and facilitate a space for “tuning”.  Artists often notice what others might miss by paying attention, and trace undetected connections and associations.  The artists, poets, and performers in the show collaborate with non-human species, such as roots, moss, and the sounds generated from the plants, and bring the vanishing landscapes from the past and the disappearing future to the fore.  In doing so, they activate our sensory understanding of the yet intangible in the environment, evoking their presence, naming the sites, and understandings that are emerging and yet present.  The show aims to activate our senses by making the familiar new and unfamiliar,  and facilitate a space of kinship with each other and our surroundings.

If a garden by definition is a place for cultivating and caring for plant species, the Garden of Lost Species & Words seeks to cultivate a space for exploring our interconnectedness and intrinsic belonging to our non-human kin. The exhibit challenges traditional modes of taxonomy between nature and culture, acknowledging the symbiotic relationships between humans and other living beings.

The Garden of Lost Words and Species 

Works by:  Shin Yu PaiYoko Ono, Rob Rhee, Alex Vittum, JJ Jungim Rose, and more (TBD)

Songs of Plants, Tender Machines

A series of performances, sound art, and deep listening


Arctostaphylos franciscana, an endemic species. Image credit: Future Ecologies, 2018

The Garden of Lost Species & Words

Sunday Kitchen

Sept.6th - Oct.12th, 2024

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