[ISEA2017] Workshop: Margaretha Haughwout & Ian Pollock — Natural Resistance with the Guerrilla Grafters

Workshop Statement

The Guerrilla Grafters graft fruit bearing branches onto non-fruit bearing, ornamental fruit trees. Over time, delicious, nutritious fruit is made available to urban residents through these grafts. We aim to prove that a culture of care can be cultivated from the ground up. We aim to turn city streets into food forests, and unravel civilization one branch at a time.

For ISEA2017, we demonstrate how to graft urban fruit trees in the Recinto district of Manizales. The Guerrilla Grafters teach participants how to use their internet tools and different kinds of tagging — from graffiti to electronics to attach to branches (disseminating information about the graft to humans and bees), and offer take-home grafting kits. We provoke a discussion on how specific cultivation practices can resist capitalist and colonial regimes of power. Here, conflicts between a variety of fruit eaters might be recast as something to be embraced, and not positioned as the opposite to peace.

We invite messy, rebellious solutions to the ways information can be shared for the purposes of expanding the urban commons in ways that simultaneously collapse binaries between public and private, nature and culture.

  • Margaretha Haughwout, Assistant Professor of Digital Art, Colgate University, San Francisco/ Hamilton, NY, USA. I understand practice to be the work of trying over time to make one’s engagements better, and survival to require flourishing multi-species cohabitation, mutuality and care.My practice of survival works across many technical and natural media, often complicating the division between the technological and the natural, in the interest of mutuality and care. Experimentation both with electrical and political power, interactive narratives, and cultivation of biological systems are strategies that I use to this end.beforebefore.net
  • Ian Pollock, Assistant Professor, Coordinator, Graduate Multimedia Program, Coordinator, Undergraduate Interaction and Game Design Option, Department of Art, CAL State East Bay, USA