Kinnomic Botany traces the seemingly mundane and cumbersome potato through its evolutionary history and along alternate trajectories, to reveal the bland and domesticated language used to categorise and order the plant world in botanical institutions today. As a parallel botanical institution, it intervenes in sites where the colonised are cast out, to counter their dominant, human-centric narratives of place.
Kinnomic Botany aims to test new educational tools for cross-disciplinary knowledge production, drawing from indigenous cartographies to create a set of alternative maps that shift attention away from enlightenment architectures, and towards more-than-human infrastructures in the garden. The maps communicate like stories, to generate, store, and disseminate information about the movements of the potato beneath the soil, and between the garden, the lab and the farm. Oral, tactile, cosmographic, and performative channels are introduced as just some of many methods for recording human relationships to nature, revealing cartography as a malleable tool that goes beyond science and reason, to disseminate a more tacit knowledge of scale, time, and place.
This institution seeks to use the structures of oral, verbal, tactile, and visual communication media to create shared languages as vehicles for truth, to democratise the sciences, and act as portals between different worlds and communities. It partakes in digital dissemination of research, not just to traverse borders of knowledge production between continents and disciplines, but also to make use of technology as a type of leveller, giving agency and authorship to the many. Collaborative ways of working between the institution, communities, artists, architects, ethnographers, and the public will establish the support networks required to tackle current perceptions of botanical institutions, and make room for more sustainable practices.