‘Pollinator Pathmaker’: A free algorithm can turn your garden into art

Alexandra Daisy Ginsberg’s art has long explored the meeting point between nature and technology. Take Resurrecting the Sublime for example, a collaborative project between scientists and artists that used DNA from a preserved herbarium to resurrect the scent of a plant that was pushed to extinction over a century ago.

Knowing this, it comes as no surprise that when Ginsberg was was commissioned by The Eden Project (alongside the Gaia Art Foundation and Google Arts and Culture) to come up with an artwork addressing the pollinator crisis, she decided to create a piece not just about, but for pollinators. The result is an online algorithm designed to eradicate human bias and create a garden that meets the needs of bees, wasps, moths, and beetles instead of just pleasing the human eye.

The project, called Pollinator Pathmaker has three official instalments so far — one at the Eden Project itself in Cornwall, one at London’s Kensington Gardens, and one at the LAS Art Foundation in Berlin. But the real impact of the project comes from its accessibility — people can plant their own pollinator-friendly artwork by going to pollinator.art and entering their own garden measurements and conditions. As Pollinator Pathmaker uses geospecific data, it is currently only available in European countries.

In this Mashable Original, Ginsberg introduces her project and walks us through the steps of designing our own pollinator-friendly artwork.


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