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Assembling the Natureculture Garden

A Diffractive Ethnography of the Utrecht Oude Hortus, 2020

This thesis questions the dominant western narratives towards nature through a situated, diffractive ethnography of the Utrecht Oude Hortus. It examines limitations of the framing the former botanic garden as a record of European cultural hegemony. Moreover, it uses assemblages, naturecultures and heterotopia as a conceptual framework to specifically ask: How do assemblages within naturecultures become visible in the Oude Hortus and how does temporality and care play a critical role in making a possible natureculture garden? In doing so, this body of work recognizes the garden as a capitalist-patriarchal-formation, questions the potential qualities of temporality and of care as dynamic and intra-active forces and proposes an alternative narrative for the garden as one of naturecultures This thesis is a result of artistic research and situated in the academic natureculture debate alongside the work of Anna Lowenhaupt Tsing, Donna J. Haraway, Karen Barad, Bruno Latour, Tobias Rees among others. It is a result of theory, methodological experimentation and scholarly analysis combined with the artworks, included in the appendix as supplementary evidence. This body of research creates a textured portrait the Utrecht Oude Hortus that imagines the garden as one of naturecultures.




Keywords: artistic research, assemblage, care, ethnography, heterotopia, naturecultures, temporality, time. 


Research Object: Publication Assembling the Natureculture Garden: A Diffractive Ethnography of the Utrecht Oude Hortus


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