Sustainable pasts, edible futures. Learning to craft a livable world through plant-techne




It is provocative, but not uncommon, to compare the work of art to a plant. Art is inseparable from the aim to pass on knowledge to future generations, just as plants strive to reproduce. This paper forwards the art-plant hypothesis that views works of art and plants not only as structurally similar, but teleologically united. We look to two models of art to test this hypothesis: earthworks of the land art movement, and the ancient Greek concept of craft or techne. Plant grafting serves as an example artform that is instructive for crafting a more sustainable world. We approach plant grafting as a sustainable technology in an age of genetic monopolization, and as a powerful metaphor for our common roots and responsibility to create a better world.