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Thurs 6 May

Live at The Calyx: Infinite Herbarium

Infinite Herbarium aims to expand our experience of the vast, diverse botanical world - creating connectivity to plants and their threatened ecosystems.

In this Live at The Calyx session, you'll hear how artists can collaborate with companies like Google to create experiences that cross art and science. The Infinite Herbarium is a great way to engage people with the living plant collection. It's an experience that connects the virtual and the real.

Hear from a panel of experts about how the Infinite Herbarium came together as a project, where you can see it, how you can interact with it and how you might connect art and science to create engaging experiences.

About the Infinite Herbarium

Infinite Herbarium is a participatory experience and multi channel video projection, developed by artist, Caroline Rothwell in collaboration with Google Creative Lab. It is an exploration in generative AI where plant classification, machine-learning and historical botanical imagery combine to create new species of morphing botanical forms.

Launching at the Museum of Contemporary Art Australia as part of The National 2021: New Australian Art and concurrently at The Royal Botanic Garden Sydney, Infinite Herbarium is on view until end of August 2021.

The Panel

Caroline Rothwell, artist
Caroline Rothwell has been operating globally as an artist for more than 20 years. Born in Hull, UK she has a BA from University of the Arts London, an MFA in sculpture from Hunter College, City University of New York /University of Auckland and has been permanently resident in Sydney since 2004.

Working across media, from bronze sculpture to digital animation, her practice is multidisciplinary and research driven, visualising the intersections of art and science, nature, history and time. She operates between two and three dimensions, in an installation-based format. Her work ranges from gallery scale through to large site-specific public projects.

Rothwell’s work is included in significant biennales, exhibitions and residencies, including: The National 2021: New Australian Art, the Museum of Contemporary Art Australia; Caroline Rothwell, Horizon, Hazlehurst Regional Art Gallery (2021); Corpus, Yavuz Gallery, Singapore (2021);  Fragil, XIII Biennale of Cuenca, Ecuador (2016); Dark Heart: 2014 Biennial of Australian Art, Art Gallery of South Australia; invitational research residency at University of Cambridge Museums (2015). Her work is held in major collections including Cambridge University, UK; Art Gallery of New South Wales; National Gallery of Australia.
Host: Rachel Kent, Chief Curator, Museum of Contemporary Art Australia
Rachel Kent is the Chief Curator at the Museum of Contemporary Art (MCA) Australia. She has presented exhibitions in Australia, New Zealand, Japan, the United States and Canada. She has extensive public speaking experience, including TEDx, and sits on advisory, juror and board roles locally and abroad. She is the curator of The National 2021 at the MCA, featuring Caroline Rothwell's work alongside artists from around the country, in a major survey format.
Jonathan Richards, Google Creative Lab

Jonathan Richards is a Creative Lead at Google's Creative Lab, in Sydney, where he works on projects which explore the intersection between technology and the arts. Much of the Lab's work involves outreach in the cultural sector, partnering with theatre companies, museums, novelists, dancers, galleries, musicians, libraries, opera houses, film-makers and others to explore new ways of introducing ‘digital’ into artistic practice.

Previously he was at the Guardian newspaper in London where he ran the Interactive team—a group of designers, developers, film-makers and editors producing editorial content and apps, including the Walkley-winning Firestorm.

Prior to that he was an editor, writer, and developer at the Times of London.

He lectures on new forms of storytelling all around the world, and was one of the founders of Hacks / Hackers in London. He is an occasional teacher, and an unapologetic Rubyist. He also plays trumpet— rather more scrappily than he used to.

John Siemon, Director of Horticulture at the Botanic Gardens, Greater Sydney

John is a horticultural scientist and was the Curator Manager of the Australian Botanic Garden Mount Annan for six years before he was appointed the role of Director of Horticulture for the Botanic Gardens, Greater Sydney in 2020. 

His interest in horticulture started at a young age, growing up in the leafy suburbs of Brisbane where he was fascinated by the world around him, and how the tallest trees could grow from the smallest seed.

John’s most significant achievement to date has been project managing the Australian PlantBank, including securing $19.8 million dollars in fundraising, architectural design and construction of this national repository for native plant seeds.


Thursday 6 May, 12pm to 12:45pm


The Calyx


Public transport recommended. Limited parking available