Laser 11 – Distributed Greenery

LASER 11 Hexagram Montréal
Co-Chaired by Nina Czegledy and Gisèle Trudel

Wednesday April 13, 12:30 p.m. – 14:00 p.m. (EDT)
Tiohtià:ke | Montréal
Free webinar (Registration required): To register, please fill out this form.

In French and in English

Annick Bureaud [director of Leonardo/Olats, Paris]
Beatriz Herrera [Intermedia artist]
François-Joseph Lapointe [co-investigator member, UdeM]

Matthew Halpenny [student member, UdeM]

The curatorial collective Traveling Plant (Europe) will meet the Critical Gardening Collective (Montreal) to activate issues and environments in the making. The first group situates the concept and the materiality of the plant in movements of travel, exhibition and community; the other group combines bipolar mosses, cybernetic sculptures and bacterial piles to create sympoietic gardens in various localities.

The round table will begin with short presentations by emissaries of the two collectives, with position statements about their respective projects. This will be followed by a dynamic, open discussion with publics, highlighting questions raised by their research and distributed creations, a multispecies nature proliferating with spaces, technologies and temporalities.

To introduce this new edition of the LASER Hexagram series, Nina Czegledy, Gisèle Trudel and Chantal T Paris will briefly share their quantitative and qualitative analysis of the ten previous editions.

Annick Bureaud

The Traveling Plant emerged during the first lockdown of the SARS-COV2 pandemic as a collective distributed curatorial project founded by Annick Bureaud, Tatiana Kourochkina, Marta de Menezes, Claudia Schnugg and Robertina Šebjanič. It is one of the many answers to the questions we all asked ourselves: how do we curate exhibitions when we cannot travel, is it desirable to keep on traveling when we are again allowed to, how do we keep alive a worldwide community and exchanges without drowning into purely online platforms or becoming parochial? 

It is said that plants do not move or travel. But we know that they do. At a time when the Vegetal is becoming more present in our awareness and understanding of our planet and environment, the analogy of, metaphor about and central focus on a plant that would travel the world and encounter all kinds of artworks, artists and people came as evidence for the project. 

In this presentation, we shall explain the idea behind the curatorial project and present the event that the Plant attended in Barcelona in 2021, curated by Tatiana Kourochkina: Cruel of Tucuman by Paula Bruna, a project about a plant that should not have traveled…

With support from Leonardo/Olats, Quo Artis, Cultivamos Cultura and Sektor.

Critical Gardening Collective

The research-creation project of the collective (Thierry Bardini, Beatriz Herrera, François-Joseph Lapointe and Matthew Halpenny) consists of making a garden of bipolar mosses (or bryophytes) (i.e. which exist in the two circumpolar regions of the globe) in which will be placed cybernetic sculptures (or cybryontes) serving as medium to the mosses, caring for them and providing them with a communication interface. We will carry out two residencies in a biological research station (in Kilpisjärvi in Finnish Lapland and in Parque Etnobótanico Omora in Chilean Patagonia) where we will identify, observe and collect samples of bipolar bryophytes, and leave on site a transmitter cybryont prototype, which will transmit climatic and ecological data. Production of the garden will begin in 2023; it will then be a question of placing in the Montreal Botanical Garden our bryophyte cultures from our two sets of samples as well as a prototype of the cybryont receptor connected to the two prototypes in the field. A collaborative research-creation between a sociologist who is also an agronomist, three intermedia artists, and a biologist who is also an artist, this project aims to produce a specific aesthetic through a practice-based theoretical engagement; it will combine critical reflection and material practice, as critical gardening.

With support from Conseil de recherches en sciences humaines (CRSH), Fond de Recherche de Québec – Société et Culture (FRQSC), Espace pour la vie Montréal, Universidad de Magallanes and SOLU | Bioart Society.


  • Annick Bureaud is an independent art critic, curator and event organiser in the field of art and technosciences. She is the director of Leonardo/Olats. She co-founded The Traveling Plant project with Tatiana Kourochkina, Marta de Menezes, Claudia Schnugg and Robertina Šebjanič. -
  • Beatriz Herrera is a Montreal-based, Chilean-born intermedia artist. Initially trained as a Ceramicist, her practice is now centered on the intersections between gardens, machines, aesthetic beauty and ceramics. Beatriz Herrera holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts (Intermedia & Cyberarts 2010) and a Master of Fine Arts (Sculpture 2013) from Concordia University. She has had various solo and collective exhibitions, including at Montreal PRIM (2009), Toronto Interaccess Electronic Media Arts Center (2009), Montreal Eastern Bloc gallery (2015), Gatineau Daïmon (2015), Admare (2015), and at La salle de diffusion de Parc-Extension 2018 and Maison de la Culture de Notre-Dame-de-Grâce (2020).
  • Francois-Joseph Lapointe is full Professor in the Department of biological sciences at Université de Montréal and Hexagram member. In his scientific research, he is mainly interested in phylogenetic analysis and the application of population genetics for biodiversity conservation purposes. In 2012, he obtained a PhD in the study and practice of in arts (UQAM) and created a new field of research, choreogenetics, by transposing the stochastic processes of genetics for choreographic purposes. He is the author of 120 scientific publications and over 270 conferences and 75 invitational research seminars. He has participated in some fifteen international artistic exhibitions. In 1990, the Governor General of Canada awarded him the Academic Gold Medal for his doctoral work.
  • Matthew Halpenny is an interdisciplinary media artist from Montréal who works between the milieus of biology, society, and technology. Their work seeks to disrupt conventional boundaries around life, evolution, the body, consciousness, and human expression. Such ideas have been explored through use of the human body as a performative instrument, artificial organisms, technological-biological sculpture, and networked cognition performances. Their work is inspired by systems theory, embodied cognition, sense theory, emergent behavior, multi-species being, and media ecologies. They were previously a research member at Milieux Institute – Speculative Life, where they worked within the Speculative Life and Critical Materiality research clusters. They are now working as a research member of Hexagram through the Université de Montréal. His research on technological-biological system relations was published by ISEA. Mediums: Microbial Fuel Cells, Slime Mold, Electronic & Biological Sensors.

This series is supported by Hexagram (, funded by the Fonds de recherche du Québec – Société et culture (FRQSC).

LASER (Leonardo Art Science Evening Rendezvous) is Leonardo/ISAST’s international encounter program bringing together artists and scientists for informal presentations and conversations with audiences. LASER’s mission is to encourage contribution to a region’s cultural environment by fostering interdisciplinary dialogue and community development opportunities in more than forty cities around the world. To learn more about LASERs and to attend one near you, please visit the website and @lasertalks.

Image : Traveling Plant Collective : Paula Bruna, Cruel of Tucuman, Barcelona 2021, Quo Artis, image courtesy Claudia P. Machuca Santibáñez.

Cette publication est également disponible en : Français (French)