Warning: sensitive content

For about a year and a half, I’ve been researching plants with racist names. I collect everything, scientific and common names. There are more than 60 thousands of species with derogatory names to blacks, women, Jews, indigenous and Rome, Sinti and Kale (“gipsyes”) peoples, and Queer groups.

Actually, one can say that all nomenclature is offensive, due to the erasure that it produces in the culture of original peoples. All nomenclature is offensive due to the way it empowers the dominator, by erasing the cultural meaning of plants, in a given context, where they are associated to medicinal, me religious and ritual practices, replaced by  scientific terminologies and associated with the names of kings and queens that dominate them.

Observing  botanical taxonomy processes, and the way they conformed the colonialist imagination, and investigating AI methodologies, and their dependence on the pattern, I decided to dedicate myself to a kind of “a reverse philosophy”.

By feeding the system with incongruent data, like plants of different species, but always with names demeaning to Jews, blacks, women, indigenous peoples and peoples known as “gypsies”, and forcing the system to operate its synthesis and, in this way, generate an image that has no intention of being real, but rather operating outside the pattern or pointing to a next nature. One that it is nor defined in opposition to culture, but is the result of its interactions. The results of those experiments are the artworks presented in this website. Here you can see some of the outrageous names which arte still in use. An ongoing essay on colonialism, plants, racism and Ai as a critical tool and a detailed set of references are also part of this investigative process.

I apologize for the harmful feelings these plants’ names (scientific and popular) may cause to some groups. These are common names in specialized literature, gardening stores, and websites and do not reflect the artist’s opinion.

Giselle Beiguelman

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