Solo Exhibition  Gallery Droog Amsterdam

Opening January 18th

 Hyper Rhizome – Exercises in Root System Domestication

Diana Scherer explores the relationship of man versus his natural environment and his desire to control nature. The point of departure is the ambiguous tendency of man to cherish nature, while simultaneously recklessly manipulating it.

Her focus is on vegetable material. This living material forms the basis of her investigation. She works with biological processes and develops her projects by making interventions, both intuitively and by scientific means.  For the past few years her fascination has mainly been focused on the dynamics of underground plant parts. She has been captivated by the root system, with its hidden, underground processes; it is considered to be the brain of the plant by plant- neurobiologists.

Charles Darwin was the first biologist to observe the behaviour of roots. In his book The Power of Movements of Plants, he describes how roots do not passively grow down, but move and observe. A root navigates, knows what’s up and down, observes gravity and localizes moisture and chemicals. Darwin discovered that plants are a far more intelligent, than anybody thought. For contemporary botanists, this buried matter is still a wondrous land. There is currently a global investigation discovering this hidden world. Scherer applies the intelligence of plants in her work and makes the hidden processes visible. With Hyper Rhizome the natural network of the roots turns into an artificial textile.  She approaches the root system as if it were yarn. For example, the refined, white root structure of grass reminds her of silk and the powerful, yellowish strands of the daisy she compares to wool.  In collaboration with nature she has developed a technique to control the growth of the root system.  The structures in her work are based on the construction and ordering principles of nature. This theory assumes that the same elements and patterns reappear in every plant and consist of a geometric order. Mathematicians such as Pythagoras and Euclid were already convinced of a universal building plan constructed by the same geometric principles.

Exercises in Root System Domestication originated as an art project with an intuitive approach.It has also developed into an innovative material research and pursuit for a new and sustainable textile. Working on this project Scherer shifts between disciplines, from design to art, craft and science. To develop this biotechnique she collaborates with biologists and engineers from the Material Experience Lab TU Delft and Radboud University Nijmegen.

In the exhibition Hyper Rhizome, she shares with us a selection of works from plantrootweaving, alongside scientific research and growing objects.

BankGiro Loterij Fonds, Mondriaan Fonds, Fonds Kwadraat, Radboud University Nijmegen, TU Delft