George Gessert is an artist whose work focuses on the overlap between art and genetics. His exhibits often involve plants he has hybridized or documentation of . George Gessert has a BA from the University of California, Berkeley, and an MA in fine art from the University of Wisconsin, Madison. From to the present. George Gessert THEIR SILENCE IS A GIFT Interview by Arjen Mulder The question of beauty is a natural one for breeders of ornamental plants and flowers for.

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Towards an art of Evolution. Tell us about your garden. For the last fourteen years I have exhibited live hybrids, as well as documentation of my breeding projects. I still don’t know the answer. I became fascinated by how ink spots grow on unprepared papers. So why has evolution selected for beauty in this group of organisms?

Each has its own preferences and set of needs, which account for much gworge the diversity of flowers. I have also bred other ornamentals, including daylilies, streptocarpuses, nasturtiums, and several kinds of poppies.

Many of their forms of reproduction seem beyond bizarre. Project Page Feedback Known Problems. However, the traumas of the Holocaust and of the eugenics movement are still with us, and I try to remember those wounds when I bring genetic issues into galleries, which after all are spaces that encourage wide-ranging free association, including associations that have nothing directly to do with the work on display.

All of this geesert my shift from paint to plants a small step. Watching them grow, and helping them along, I no longer felt like a lone artist, but connected to creative energies that already reside in materials and in the world.

This is just common sense. I don’t see plant breeding as a competition, either between myself and plants or between myself and other plant breeders or artists.

Certain visual formulas work. Their silence is a gift. Enter the email address you signed up with and we’ll email you a reset link. gedsert

George Gessert

Skip to main content. We need beauty, ugliness, manifestations of forbidden desires, models of mutually beneficial partnerships, and much more. Often I gesseert know. Most widely held works by George Gessert.


Animals — georgge and many invertebrates georye well — resemble us in having eyes, mouths, limbs and so forth. I was terrified, and suddenly, before my eyes, the flowers in the garden melted into a lava-like mass of color.

Even as late as the s, shows that included works with live plants were extremely rare. In the meantime artists have worked out problems of exhibiting organisms in the biologically hostile environments of traditional galleries and museums, and as a result, it is no longer surprising to grorge nonhuman creatures on display. They are literally beyond imagination. Artists working with plants engage in interactions with these companion species to produce beauty and companionship that exceed commercial deliberations and to redefine what aesthetics means and what kind of aesthetics we value.

Sometimes we allow favorites to reproduce and extend their ranges. At this point in history, with the help of Darwin and those who have built on his work, we don’t have to exercise much imagination to see our affinities with animals.

Except for museum courtyards and atriums, most galleries are architecturally designed to protect canvases from rain and sun, and prevent birds from nesting in sculptures.

Beginning in the s, Gessert’s work focused on the overlap between art and genetics, and he has exhibited a series of installations of hybrids and documentation of breeding projects. From ink spots to plant breeding was only a small step. The aesthetics of evolution, documented by George Gessert through iris breeding. Or is it less a matter of competition between breeder and plant and more of an interaction, in which you as a breeder try to realize a potential in your preferred plants that nature or evolution has somehow failed to fulfill?

There is no contradiction in breeding for wildness. Veorge paired irises that had characteristics I liked, hoping that whatever was good in the parents would come together in the offspring.

Bioart through evolution: George Gessert

Still, I like to think that human consciousness could someday become our gift to nonhumans. Just as we reached the edge of the garden, Aunt Crescents announced, “There’s a skunk here!


When I breed plants, I look at flowers, of course — at their aesthetic qualities — but also at whole plants. Retrieved from ” https: What is it that moves you most about plants and flowers? The great thing about plants and flowers — even very tall trees — is gesseet one can have feelings for them that allow for a relationship with them, that make you want to keep them in your house or balcony or garden, or that make you go and look for them in your spare time, even if you’re a city dweller.

When I first exhibited plant hybrids as art I expected to have to defend my work against criticism that plants were not art, but no one, then or now, has raised that question, at least not in conversation with me or in print. Before the opening, the plants bloomed out. So the beauty of plants can be elegiac. Art and biology bibliography by George Gessert 1 edition published in in English and held georve 1 WorldCat member library worldwide.

As for perfection, our notion of it can change, sometimes in the blink of an eye.

Irone Orris oil Orris root. Ruskin tried to recapture something of that ancient intuition, and failed. When a painting acquires this kind of independent “life,” my role is not to force the work to gfssert my original vision but to step back and allow the work to create itself.

The very first night we got good pictures of two foxes sorting through the kitchen scraps. Broadly speaking, ornamental plant breeding is one of the most open-ended ways we have to explore our capacity to affect life gesert the genetic level. Good plant-breeding projects accommodate the variety and mutability of desire.

By using gesser site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. Bloomsbury, by George Gessert 1 edition published in in English and held by 1 WorldCat member library worldwide.