Margaretha Haughwout

DE-FENCE is a living installation and a series of community events at NATURE Lab under the umbrella of the Sanctuary’s growing Eco-Art Trail. The living installation is built in relationship to NATURE Lab’s back fence and the other emerging food forest networks and sign systems in the newly inaugurated space. DE-FENCE is an offering of perennial medicinal plants that support the immune system of humans while also enabling mutual support of the plants themselves and their critter companions through nutrient, structure, and insect attraction/ repulsion. The planting design and labeling system emerges out of community conversations and observation processes with the artist. DE-FENCE conflates collective health with territorial defense in opposition to medical and legal conceptions of immunity that derive from notions of private property. Learn more about DE-FENCE Part 1: Medicine in the Margins, the first workshop related to the project. DE-FENCE Part 2: The Line Becomes a Territory, will take place May 18, 2024.

Margaretha Haughwout works with humans, and the more-than-human, across technologies and ecologies, to cultivate a radical imagination that challenges proprietary regimes, colonial temporalities, and capitalist forms of labor. Her work manifests as speculative fabulation, intervention, participatory event, walking tour, experimental pedagogy, installation, and biological processes. Haughwout’s active collaborations include the Coven Intelligence Program, with efrén cruz cortés, the Guerrilla Grafters, and Ruderal Witchcraft with Oliver Kellhammer. She created and maintains the Food Forest Studio in Central New York.

Haughwout’s personal and collaborative artwork is exhibited nationally and internationally, most recently, at Stadwerkstatt in Linz, Austria, the Pixelache Festival in Helsinki, Finland, Yerba Buena Center for the Arts in San Francisco, California, and at Bennington College in Bennington, Vermont. Haughwout received her MFA from the University of California Santa Cruz. She is Associate Professor of Emerging Media at Colgate University.

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