12:00pm - 6:30pm EDT March 29, 2023

Harry der Boghosian Fellowship Symposium: Pet Plants

Plants are the new pets. The fronds in our pots, corms in our homes, and trees on our streets are perhaps best understood as what the scholar Donna Haraway calls “companion species.” As co-inhabitants of our world, pet plants inspire new aesthetics and function as instruments of value. They require constant care and are bred for optimized growth. They are legacies of empires and technoscientific commodities. How do humans ascribe value to different flora? What does it mean to care for plants without capitalizing on their utility? What forms of vegetal performance can be visualized? Who speaks for plants? How can pet plants reframe our relationship with the concept of “nature,” climate change, and other more-than-human subjects?

Staged through six multimedia human-plant performances organized as a “Pet Plants Symposium,” this event brings together a group of artists and practitioners in the fields of art, architecture, landscape architecture, and performance. We aim to explore the valuation and domestication of plants and speculate on new forms of engagement with all manner of vegetal beings.

This symposium is organized by Lily Chishan Wong, the school’s seventh Boghosian Fellow. Throughout the academic year, she has been teaching an architecture studio and two professional electives focusing on her research project, “Producing Nature” that examines the production of tropical and semi-tropical ornamental plants and its spatial, socio-political and environmental dimensions.

Lily Wong and Tim Simonds will moderate the discussion.


Noon – 5 p.m., Slocum Hall Marble Room

12:00 – 12:15 Introduction
12:15 – 12:45 Cooking Sections
1:00 – 1:30  Michael Wang
1:30 – 2:00 Aidan Ackerman
2:00 – 3:00 Break
3:00 – 3:30  Tim Simonds 
3:45 – 4:15  Lily Chishan Wong
4:30 – 5:00 Nocturnal Medicine 


Panel Discussion / Reception

5:30 – 6:30 p.m., Slocum Hall Atrium


Aidan Ackerman
Assistant Professor of Landscape Architecture, SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry

Cooking Sections
Daniel Fernández Pascual & Alon Schwabe

Michael Wang

Nocturnal Medicine
Larissa Belčić & Michelle Shofet 

Tim Simonds
Artist; Adjunct Associate Professor, Pratt Institute

*Cooking Sections will perform virtually.