Conversations in Florigraphy

Heidi Bender to Margarita Cardenas Vasquez, Margarita Cardenas Vasquez to Heidi Bender, Heidi Bender to Margarita Cardenas Vasquez.

Heidi Bender to Margarita Cardenas Vasquez, Margarita Cardenas Vasquez to Heidi Bender, Heidi Bender to Margarita Cardenas Vasquez.

“Conversations in Florigraphy”  can be viewed in its entirety at our project website.

 

“when a language dies, a way of understanding the world dies with it, a way of looking at the world. ”

― George Steiner

The “Conversations in Florigraphy” project explores the ways in which the delivery of language influences what is communicated. Semioticians and linguists vary in their theories on how languages are formed and used, but the overall consensus is that our language systems shape how we experience and view the world. What happens to our experience and perspective when our standard methods of communication shift? As artists we are particularly interested in the juxtaposition of our current, instant, technologically mediated communication methods such as email, twitter, and Facebook updates against modalities that were slower and more sensory.

In “Conversations in Florigraphy” we focused  on the Victorian practice of sending messages through coded flower bouquets or “tussie mussies”.  As a nod to the speed and accessibility of our time, we bypass the hand cultivation of each species and instead collage a global array of digitally captured flora found online. Each image is related to a specific conversation held between the artists, and is sent electronically to the recipient’s inbox.

These bouquets relate to events and conversations that we would have otherwise shared via email or status updates, and are translated through an online florigraphy source. (http://www.languageofflowers.com/) Each digital species of flora has a significant meaning that can be traced to floral dictionaries from the 18th and 19th centuries. Each image is accompanied by a list of the flora used and their meanings as a form of continuing the conversation with viewers.

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