Published in conjunction with the installation Ginny Ruffner: Reforestation of the Imagination, on view at the Renwick Gallery of the Smithsonian American Art Museum, Washington, DC, June 28, 2019 through January 5, 2020.
Reforestation of the Imagination' invites us into a futuristic landscape of peril and promise. Combining handblown glass sculptures with augmented reality (AR), artist Ginny Ruffner blends art and technology, curiosity and wonder, and takes us on a journey of what ifs: What if the landscape is devastated? What can nature do to heal itself? What roles do creativity and science play in our ability to confront an altered landscape. Illustrated and written by Ginny Ruffner, in collaboration with new media artist Grant Kirkpatrick, 'Reforestation of the Imagination' is an interactive Field guide to the wildflowers of the mind. Ruffner offers tongue-in-cheek descriptions of her fanciful flowers and their remarkable, sometimes humorous adaptations; her clever titles imitate the scientific names of traditional botany while playfully connecting them to the art world: tulips develop stem flexibility, and in a Noah's ark moment, a plant evolves boat-shaped blooms that carry seeds safely to solid earth for propagation. Her glorious fruits and flowers fuse her musings on art and science; with the inexhaustible resource of her imagination, Ruffner brings color and optimism to a new environment, and to life itself.