Have you ever wondered what it might be like to live in a world where all the plants and flowers have disappeared, and all we have left is mere simulations of what once was?
"I first compiled a list of over 100 species of flora endemic to the Sahel region and classified as endangered by IUCN's Red List of Endangered Species. I then scoured the web for images of the plants to create the database I would later use in the first round of training. Images for many of the plants were hard to track down – only existing in scans of herbarium pages, some dating back to colonial times. In those cases, I used the commercial AI tool DALL.E to generate variations and enlarge the dataset sufficiently to begin training. I then shortlisted a subset of plants from the database that I imagine would fit well together in a garden, and this allowed me to compile a second, more refined, database specifically for this installation which I used to train a GAN. I used the GAN's initial outputs of 8,000 plant images to create animations for each individual plant and brought them together in the final composition – a digital garden of 28 flowers as seen during the day and at night from the collaboration between the mind's eye of the AI and mine. During this process, it dawned on me that a majority of the plants I used in this project were completely new to me and that, in general, I grew up seeing less than half of the plant species my grandmother grew up seeing. I also realized that while some of the extinct plant species I worked with survive in their digital embodiment on the internet, the ones that weren't recorded and digitized are entirely lost to both human and digital consciousness.”