3x3: Spela Petric I - Automation of Care

The first 3x3 experiment of Špela Petrič. This event is part of the Smart Hybrid Forms programme.

Oct 2021
18:00 to 19:30

3X3 Program 


October 22

18.30h-19.30h (doors open: 18.00h) - Registration not needed
3x3: Špela Petrič I – Automation of Care: What plants taught me about the machine and other vegetariat stories 

As an introduction to her series of 3x3, Špela Petrič will share anecdotes from her art practice that outline her interest and sense of urgency to venture into the belly of the beast, where automation meets bodies and cyborgs dwell. This event takes place at V2_.


This is a free event, registration is not needed. For the day programme of the second and third instalment Please register here



The PLANT-MACHINE is the umbrella title for an art practice and research through which Špela Petrič examines the entwinement of advanced technologies with living bodies, positing horticulture as a model of these relations. Developed through interdisciplinary collaboration, this research is rooted in the realisation that digital representation, which we are partaking in through big data analyses and predictions (data capitalism), requires new modes of social and political engagement. Rather than focusing on the human in the humanistic tradition, where importance is attached to values such as individuality, independence or identity, algorithms see people as statistical clusters. The statistical human is in turn controlled and shaped by whoever possesses the means for their identification. 

Underpinned by (bio)informatics, such a radicalised form of biopolitics decodes people in fragmented contexts of connections and dependencies, and uncannily resembles the traditional treatment of plants. In Western thought, plants are conceived of as beings simple enough to be discerned, fully comprehended and subsequently controlled/managed. In the series, the artist insists on intensifying the relationship between information technology and plants, identifying in it two critical features of the current situation: the urgency to reconstruct our relationship to plants, and the ontological flattening in which plants and the statistical human essentially become equal. Despite questioning the current use of algorithms, Petrič refuses to critique from a safe distance, instead experimenting with ways to appropriate or subvert data acquisition and processing methods. In the context of the artworks, data becomes the raw material for non-utilitarian, speculative representations of plant life in the sphere of information.


3x3 is a series of events in which artists present three public experiments at V2_.

Smart Hybrid Forms

Within the Smart Hybrid Forms, the research builds upon the discourse introduced by previous works from the PLANT-MACHINE series (PL’AI (2020, produced by Kapelica Gallery); Vegetariat: Work Zero (2019, produced by TETEM and OSMO/ZA); Institute for Inconspicuous Languages: Reading Lips (2018, produced by Kapelica Gallery) to explore the contested plant-human-technology relations in-situ. From October 22 until November 19, 2021, as part of V2_’s event series 3x3, Petrič will conduct performative ethnography in spaces with limited access, such as greenhouses, medical centers and science labs, to offer situated experiences for a comparative analysis of the automation of care, of people and of plants.

Špela Petrič


Špela Petrič is a Ljubljana and Amsterdam based new media artist who has been trained in the natural sciences and holds a PhD in biology, currently working as a post-doc researcher at the Hybrid Forms Lab at Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam. Her artistic practice combines the natural sciences, wet biomedia practices, performance, and critically examines the limits of anthropocentrism via multi-species endeavours. She envisions artistic experiments that enact strange relations to reveal the ontological and epistemological underpinnings of our (bio)technological societies. Her work revolves around the reconstruction and re-appropriation of scientific methodology in the context of cultural phenomena, while working towards an egalitarian and critical discourse between the professional and public spheres. Petrič received several awards, such as the White Aphroid for outstanding artistic achievement (Slovenia), the Bioart and Design Award (Netherlands), and an Award of Distinction at Prix Ars Electronica (Austria).

“Smart Hybrid Forms: A plant becomes a machine becomes a plant” is a project of Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, Gerrit Rietveld Academy, Waag Society, V2_the lab for unstable media and Zone2Source and received the NWO ISA Smart Cultures grant with project no. CISC.KC.215.

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