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.
You can read more about my research in a recent interview in the Art HABENS Biennial Edition.
Anne Yoncha (US) is Assistant Professor of Art at East Central University in Ada, Oklahoma. Born and raised in Wilmington, Delaware, she earned her MFA at the University of Montana and recently completed a Fulbright fellowship 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 plant matter. Her ongoing research with the HAB (High Altitude Bioprospecting) working group began in fall 2019 at Field_Notes, a residency of Finland’s Bio Art Society at Kilpisjärvi Biological Station in subarctic Lapland, where she worked with artists, biologists, and programmers to attempt to detect high-altitutde microbes using a heli-kite. 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 work has been shown nationally and internationally, notably at the CICA Museum in South Korea, Finland’s Art Ii Biennial, the Budapest Environmental Project, and Codex Foundation’s international artistic exploration “Extraction: Art on the Edge of Abyss”. Outside the studio she can often be found doing another kind of environmental “research” via bicycle.
Photo courtesy of Starrett Artists