A large part of this project was exploring different forms of digital and analogue experimental photography – not just neural nets, but also one of the earliest forms of camera-less photography, photograms. Using a technique pioneered by Karel Doing, the artists used the chlorophyll in the plants, taken from each of their gardens in Lisbon and London, to develop the images, so that no chemicals were used. The resulting photofloral tracings, impressions of the interactions of flora, chemistries, and light were then digitised and used as input data for neural networks, adding a hybrid dimension to the resulting works. Both artists are interested in unpicking technologies and how they are created, and this process of building the dataset starts to think through some of the implications inherent in even analogue technologies.
The work references the history of women and recording natural history in the nineteenth century – most obviously Anna Atkins – but also through the deliberate collaging effect, the way that Victorian women would cut up and create worlds of their own imaging.