[ISEA2011] Paper: Haike Rausch & Torsten Grosch – botanoadopt


botanoadopt is a participatory interdisciplinary art project at the interface of art, science and social commitment, defines plants as independent beings and offers them for adoption on the internet. A plants-hatch is available for the anonymous local handover for plants. The adoption contract requires adopters to send botanoadopt photos of their fosterlings. These photos are then published at botanoadopt.org, where they offer insight into the socio-cultural environments of the plants.

The humorous contextual displacement makes it possible, to question one’s own definition of nature, and the adoption process establishes links with the theme of responsibility. Artistic thesis is, that plants are beeings with their own perception.

botanoadopt draws on alternative economic models of exchange and donation; questions raised regarding ecological actions are investigated via models surpassing the boundaries of art.

The Internet presence botanoadopt.org is visited worldwide. This site announce plants with an individual biography and personality for adoption. Every plant is posted with phot. Adopting persons have to collect the plants from the former owners by themselves. In this way, people from different contexts are brought into contact with each other – regardless of age, education, occupation, ethnic origin or religion. The biographys are dealing with facts and fiction in a way, that they shift perspectives. They are concerning to actual themes too.

The aim of the project is – simply described – using artistic activities and intervention in everyday life to question and redefine ones definition of nature.

The internetplatform furthermore offers a wide range of articles and useful knowlegde around the themes of plants, nature and biodiversity (Fakten).

The unveiling of the world’s first “Pflanzenklappe” – a babyhatch for plants in Schöppingen brought within one week to about 99,000 entries in google. The Bannwald-Migration (avalanche forest migration) saved 33 trees from the area of the new rhein-main-airport which were planted in Schöppingen/Germany. This artistic work in form of a small forest is called “Bannwald” (avalanche forest).

botanoadopt is noncommercial. Every adopting person has to sign a contract. Adopted plants are living around Germany and all over Europe.

  • Haike Rausch Torsten Grosch  (431ART) have been working together on art projects under the name of 431art for more than ten years. The independant artists understand their work as experiencing the phenomena and proceedings of nature, work situations and everyday political – social realities. Through their estrangement of the common view, their gaze on familiar objects breaks the habitual patterns of perception. In so doing; they take away the supposed inherent quality, of being real, from what is considered self-evident.431 realise interdisciplinary, multimedia and participatory artprojects; artworks in second life, light-installations and videos. Their artworks are shown f.e. in Finnland, China or Great Britain and are part of public collections as Victoria and Albert Museum, London;  Kunstbibliothek Staatliche Museen zu Berlin;  Public Library, New York; Klingspor Museum Offenbach. 2009 their project botanoadopt (ongoing) became well known by the official unveiling of the worldwide first “plants hatch” which lead to 100.000 google hits in February 2009. 431art and botanoadopt were participants of the RUHR 2010 Dortmund, the DRHA London (2010). 431art (Haike Rausch and Torsten Grosch) is member of Deutscher Künstlerbund. Grosch and Rausch have curated exhibtions as “Luck and consumption”, 2006 Wiesbaden. 2008 they founded the artists association “quersumme8”. 431art.org  botanoadopt.org Video: botanoadopt_Medienrummel 2009

Full text (PDF) p. 1052-1058 [somewhat different title]