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Move with Weeds

April 8, 2023 @ 9:30 am 11:00 am

Included with admission, free for Conservancy members

Join urban ecologist and artist Chris Kennedy for a guided walk and movement workshop exploring the naturally occurring urban plant communities found along the edges of Zilker Botanical Garden. Together we’ll engage with and learn from urban plants we typically categorize as weeds or pests and discuss their social-ecological importance and challenges related to management and care. Attendees will be invited to participate in a somatic movement score (moving your body) inspired by the morphology and rhythm of common weedy plants found in Central Texas. Comfortable, loose clothing and walking shoes are encouraged. No previous experience is needed.

About the Presenter

Christopher Kennedy is the associate director at the Urban Systems Lab, The New School, and lecturer in the Parsons School of Design. Kennedy’s research focuses on the social-ecological benefits of urban plant communities, and the role of civic engagement in developing new approaches to environmental stewardship and nature-based resilience.

As artist-designer Kennedy creates site-specific projects that examine conventional notions of “Nature,” interspecies agency, and biocultural collaboration. Drawing from a background in environmental engineering, Kennedy re-imagines field science techniques and new forms of storytelling to develop embodied research, installations, sculptures, and publications that recontextualize social-ecological systems. Over the past several years, Kennedy has been increasingly interested in how urban centers adapt to global climate shifts including rising temperatures, toxic soils, mega-droughts, flooding events, and unprecedented development. His recent projects explore the social-ecological role of ruderal ecologies (eg. vacant lots, highway medians, post-­industrial sites, and transient green spaces), and the possibility of multispecies kinship for reinvigorating relationships with urban ecological commons.

Kennedy has worked collaboratively on projects shown at the Philadelphia Academy of Fine Arts, the North Carolina Museum of Art, the Southeastern Center for Contemporary Art, the Levine Museum of the New South, the Hudson Valley Center for Contemporary Art, the Ackland Art Museum, and the Queens Museum. He holds a BS in Environmental Engineering from RPI, a MA in Environmental Conservation Education from NYU, and a Ph.D. in Cultural Studies from the University of North Carolina.

This will take place in the Oak Grove.

Austin Organic Gardeners

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Zilker Botanical Garden

2220 Barton Springs Road
Austin, Texas 78746
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