iLAND Symposium attendees were treated to a presentation called NYC From a Native Plant’s Perspective: Mapping NYC as Native Flora. This was a collaboration between choreographer Lise Brenner, Brooklyn Botanical Garden Native Flora Curator Uri Lorimer, and landscape architect and visual artist Katrina Simon. These three individuals were the iLAB 2007 residents, who worked on their residency from July through October 2007 in NYC.
Here was the initial concept for their project: Plants, landscapes and people exist as and within physical structures that all move, all the time. So botany, design, and choreography should have points at which investigative methods, classification systems, and ideal outcomes will intersect, and possibly even strengthen one another.
As they worked, the following questions were kept in mind:
- Where are New York City native plant communities actually located?
- How does putting native plants at the center of my focus alter my perception of the city, especially ‘empty’ lots and waste areas? What does it do to my mental map of New York?
- How is the tracking of native plants also movement and choreographic research?
- How can choreography be understood as a form of map making?
- How is data collection integral to art making?
- What does making art bring to data collection?
- How can the combination of our disciplines be used to get people out in the city, enjoying and perhaps coming to value the natural resources on offer?
The two-part PowerPoint presentation that Lise and Uri presented can be viewed here and here. It should give you a sense of their fascinating collaboration and residency activities at Floyd Bennett Field and Coney Island.