FEMM HORTUS (plant haptics)

FEMM HORTUS (plant haptics)

Landon Newton

Critical commentary

abortifacients; felt containers; grow lights; projected animation; QR codes; soil; wire

multimedia installation; dimensions variable; 2021

FEMM HORTUS (plant haptics) is a multi-media herbarium of plants that have historically been used for abortion and birth control, focusing on the commonly found Wild Carrot (Daucus carota) or Queen Ann’s Lace. This project calls attention to the history of plant medicine, herbal abortion, abortion-as-care, and the ways in which people have been managing their fertility throughout history. Each plant included in the installation has abortifacient, emmenagogue, or contraceptive properties. The interactive installation collects information on medicinal and historical use, abortifacient and contraceptive use, wild cultivation, plant migration, species range, and speculative plant-human connections. Abortion care has always been an essential element of healthcare and self-determinization. This work seeks to highlight the intimate and historical ways in which people have used and connected with plants, including the use of plants and herbs for abortion.