We are Leslie Kuo and Sara Bouchard, two artists who live in Berlin and New York, respectively. In 2008, we began working together as Urban Plant Research to take a closer look at plants in our two cities, from fledgling trees in vacant lots to potted plants on windowsills, from planned parks to guerilla gardens.
What relationship does each plant have to its man-made environment? Does it struggle to survive or live in symbiosis with people? Was it planted or did it take root on its own? And how do we humans relate to our green neighbors?
On research walks, we collect images, videos, drawings and writings about the plants we meet. Our project log books have become a mix of scientist’s notebook and artist’s sketchbook; our idea of “research” ranges from learning tree identification to imagining the stories of our favorite specimens.
Ultimately, we’re interested in city plants because we’re interested in city communities and communication. On this website, and in art installations within cities, we use urban plants to start a conversation about urban life.
Collaborations and Installations
We now receive plant photos and observations from people around the world. You are welcome to share your local plants via our Contact page.
We work with a variety of different media and ways of making art, especially participatory installations such as a plant quiz in the subway in Berlin and a community plant discussion center in New York. More info on our Events page.
Our blog serves as a public notebook of plant photos and observations we and our contributors have made. We’re currently publishing new blog posts a few times a month. However, we don’t have a regular schedule. So, if you’d like a short email notification of new posts, please subscribe using the button at the right. Thanks!