My work explores the often-hidden mechanics of plant physiology, such as the tension that brings water up a Ponderosa pine against the force of gravity, or the coevolution of the Mucuna flower’s sound-reflective shape with its echo-locating bat pollinator. I use a combination of analog and digital processes, including textiles dyed with plant matter I collect, electronics controlling changes in light and sound, analog sensors transmitting data into exhibit spaces, and traditional drawing and painting techniques. I aim to create work that transforms microscopic or invisible processes into analogues viewers can experience in a tangible and visceral way. Perhaps engaging with these interpretations of plants as entities in dynamic relationships with their surroundings can contribute to our ability to think more critically about our capacity to both fit within and radically change our ecosystems. I hope to join an expanding critical dialogue questioning the role of object-making, scientific inquiry, and data materialization in how we conceptualize nature and our place within it.
Anne Yoncha was born and raised in Wilmington, Delaware. She is a current Fulbright student fellow at the Natural Resources Institute Finland, working with restorationists to make collaborative art-science work about former peat extraction sites outside Oulu. Her practice combines digital sensing technology, such as bio-data sonification, and analog, traditional processes including painting with ink she makes from locally-sourced tannins. She recently returned from Field_Notes, a residency of Finland’s BioArt Society at Kilpisjärvi Biological Station in subarctic Finnish Lapland, where she worked with artists, biologists, and programmers to attempt to detect high-altitude microbes using a helikite. Tree Talk, her temporary site-specific installation sonifying invisible processes within a stand of Ponderosa Pines, was selected as the 2018 Emerging Artist project at Blackfoot Pathways Sculpture in the Wild in Lincoln, Montana. She has also been awarded residencies at Cedar Point Biological Station in Ogallala, Nebraska, and Flathead Lake Biological Station in Polson, Montana. Her interdisciplinary research collaboration won the Best of GradCon Convention on Graduate Research award in Visual and Performing Arts two years in a row. Resulting work has been exhibited nationally and internationally, most notably in Budapest, Hungary; Idaho Falls, Idaho; Savannah, Georgia; St Charles, Missouri; and Allendale, Michigan. Anne completed her Master of Fine Arts degree at the University of Montana in 2019.
Photo courtesy of Starrett Artists