Rehearsals in Co-Sufficiency:
Plant Tenders (and other future currencies)
October 2 – 6, 2017
Public Site Engagement Project, uLethbridge Campus


Image courtesy of Lisa Hirmer.

Artist: Lisa Hirmer with DodoLab
Curator: Josephine Mills

A project about tending to what is not yet here.

Part of the “You Are Here” series

Rehearsals in Co-sufficiency: Plant Tenders (and other future currencies) is a project about tending to what is not yet here. DodoLab will be set up in the Helen Christou Gallery (Level 9 under the library, beside Starbucks) and they will also take over uLethbridge Art Gallery’s Twitter feed during their visit.

Join Lisa Hirmer from DodoLab and uLethbridge Art Gallery to stage a different kind of preparedness training for disasters. Rehearsals in Co-sufficiency: Plant Tenders (and other future currencies) is a conversational project and participatory survey happening on campus. DodoLab will be asking students, faculty, and staff to think about what plants we might want on campus to help during future times of crisis. People can vote on their choice of plant and DodoLab will be recruiting “plant tenders” to care for those plants.

Rehearsals in Co-sufficiency: Plant Tenders (and other future currencies) is a project about the future—a future that feels ever more uncertain amidst the realities of climate change and political unrest. Things that were once stable seem increasingly less so. It is becoming harder to imagine what the future holds. Disruption feels possible, perhaps even inevitable. And so we are faced with the question of how to prepare for the uncertainty that lies ahead. What actions taken today might help us face the unknowable tomorrow?

Rehearsals in Co-sufficiency: Plant Tenders (and other future currencies) is also a project about how we think about the future. There are of course practical options to prepare for disruptions. But what this project wonders is how preparing for an uncertain future operates collectively in the present. Could thinking and acting together with an eye to the future tend productively to current relationships? Or, said somewhat differently: if preparing for imagined futures invests us in those futures, could we not use the act of preparing to move towards a future we want?

Rehearsals in Co-sufficiency: Plant Tenders (and other future currencies) is finally also a project about plants and our relationship with these beings that enter our lives as food, fibre, medicine, companions, symbolic objects… The project considers how vegetable timelines intersect with human ones and wonders how acts of care can be transmitted across species, from one to another and back again, and then into the future towards who or what is not yet here.

DodoLab is based in Guelph, Ontario and works at the intersection of visual art, social practice, performance, and design and is particularly concerned with barriers that prevent adaptation and change within human ecologies.

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