Wendy DesChene (Canada) and Jeff Schmuki (USA) began practicing as PlantBot Genetics in 2008. Each had extensive experience and awards as solo artists and both were raised with strong connections to the land around them. Wendy is part indigenous people of Canada and her father built an off-grid cabin in the deep forest of Ontario where the family has spent several months every year since she was a toddler. Jeff was born in the Sonoran Desert of Arizona, an environment of extremes that nurtured a unique relationship to the fragile landscape and a respect of limited natural resources.
PlantBot Genetics create installations, interventions, and collaborations that combine activism, research, and social space in order to foster discussion and generate action in the area of ecological awareness. By linking environmental issues to a diverse array of creative operations and tactics, DesChene + Schmuki extend the “knowledge of the moment”, demonstrates the fragile connection between the natural world and personal action, and offers simple, positive changes that can be enacted to increase sustainability -- an activity that can be replicated long after the artists have moved on.
PlantBot Genetics has exhibited and/or completed projects at the Carnegie Museum of Art in Pittsburgh, The Pulitzer Foundation for Art in St Loius, the Goethe Institute of Cairo, Egypt, and the Bach Modern in Austria. In 2010, a significant contribution to their body of work was produced at the American Academy in Rome as visiting artists. Recent exhibitions include Foodture at the Elaine L Jacob Gallery of Wayne State University in Detroit, Michigan and PlantBot Genetics: a Critical Contact Exhibition Series at the Cafritz Foundation Arts Center in Takoma Park, Maryland, and artist lectures and studio visits at Long Island University in Brookville, New York. Public projects while artists in residence at The Hafnarborg Art Center and Museum in Iceland and the McColl Center for the Arts in Charlotte, North Carolina has gained invitations to the Landscape Laboratory at Buitenwerkplaats in the Netherlands, the KulttuuriKauppila Art Center in Il, Finland as well as the Studio's of Key West Florida.
Email us at jschmuki(at)gmail.com