Alexandra Daisy Ginsberg

Pollinator Pathmaker: AfyLbwTriWhuR7PDkd77LZ (Pollinator Vision, Late Spring)
Pollinator Pathmaker: ARr77zvQW8Bq8q6hgDHUmp (Pollinator Vision, Late Summer)
Pollinator Pathmaker: AfyLbwTriWhuR7PDkd77LZ (Pollinator Vision, Late Summer) 

Pollinator Pathmaker: iFADDiPqc5HU3KiFxjBEuG (Pollinator Vision, Early Summer)
Pollinator Pathmaker: AfyLbwTriWhuR7PDkd77LZ (Pollinator Vision, Midsummer), 2023
Five pigment prints on Baryta paper with landscape creations made with the software Pollinator Pathmaker
Each 203 x 125 cm
Commissioned by Frankfurter Kunstverein

Pollinator Pathmaker, 2021
Online Tool
© Alexandra Daisy Ginsberg Ltd

Courtesy the artist

Alexandra Daisy Ginsberg, who works at the intersection of art, ecology, and technology, has created a new series of works for the Frankfurt Kunstverein. Five large-scale prints depict the different seasons of as yet unrealised Pollinator Pathmaker living artworks. The chosen perspective of her pictures is that of pollinating insects. Pollinator Pathmaker is Ginsberg’s ongoing artwork in which the artist transforms plots of earth into biodiverse landscapes. She developed an algorithm that creates  site-specific planting schemes, that once planted, become living artworks for other species. The algorithm designs planting not on human aesthetic criteria, but on the needs and foraging styles of pollinating insects, including bees, wasps, moths, beetles and butterflies. The selection of plants is based on the specific bioregions where Pollinator Pathmaker “Plant Palettes” have been commissioned so far – currently Atlantic Europe and Continental Europe. These plant lists are researched and curated by the artist, working with horticulturists and pollinator experts.

Each garden is a unique creation with a one-off planting plan that supports the maximum diversity of local pollinator species. The artist refers to the technology she created as an “altruistic algorithm” or an “empathy tool”, since its prioritization was designed to maximize benefits for pollinators, not humans. Factors such as pollinator types, flowering times, plant compatibility, flower shape, and their visual perception spectra of color frequencies are considered. The algorithm calculates the selection and arrangement of plants with flowering across the year and different foraging styles are catered for: Some insect species memorise the most efficient routes between flowers to collect as much nectar as possible with minimal energy expenditure, while others explore more randomly.

For Bending the Curve, five large-scale prints have been generated of unrealised planting schemes, none of which depict the human perspective. Alexandra Daisy Ginsberg digitally paints each plant that appears in her Plant Palettes, making it possible to visualise each potential living artwork in a virtual space before it is planted. Ginsberg has flown through the digital gardens and chosen the viewpoint of pollinators, i.e., from a low flight or ground angle. The colors of the flowers infer the different colour perception spectra of different insect species. Ginsberg deliberately breaks with the principles of classical landscape painting. One could almost think of it as an extreme expansion of the concept of English landscape gardens. In the 18th century, these gardens broke with the mathematically geometric arrangements that characterized the then-dominant French Baroque gardens to approximate the natural arrangement of plants.

Despite the use of technology, Ginsberg explicitly distances herself from the idea of solving climate and biodiversity crises through so-called techno-fixes. Rather, she advocates for fundamental changes in human behavior, political decisions, and economic actions. Alexandra Daisy Ginsberg’s work is guided less by an idea of reparation than by one of caring for our non-human co-inhabitants. Pollinator Pathmaker aims for a change in perspective both in the observation and design of our interaction. To detach from a purely human, anthropocentric view means to perceive and acknowledge the diverse worlds of non-human creatures.

Alexandra Daisy Ginsberg represents an understanding of art that focuses not only on the artwork itself but on an attitude. She creates long-term projects based on scientific foundations, intervening in real societal space through an expanded concept of art. Pollinator Pathmaker activates people and engages them in community planting actions. Living works emerge on the surfaces as social sculptures in public spaces that transcend individual species. For this, she actively seeks collaboration with cultural institutions. For example, on behalf of the LAS Art Foundation, a Pollinator Pathmaker artwork has been planted in the forecourt of the Museum für Naturkunde Berlin, another in Kensington Gardens for the Serpentine Gallery in London, and a third one at the Eden Project in Cornwall, UK. Ginsberg views each commission as an art edition of a continuously growing series of living, process-based artworks.

Wishing to share her knowledge, the artist makes the Pollinator Pathmaker algorithm available to the public on the website. Visitors to the site can create their own planting plan, ranging in size from a flower box to an area of 15 x 15 meters. The algorithm calculates individual designs for planting based on the size and geographical location of the area, soil type, light, and exposure. The system generates a unique design, provides a planting guide and basic information on recommended plants, their development in different seasons; it also visualizes the garden both from a human perspective and that of pollinators using Ginsberg’s digital paintings.

Ginsberg’s vision is to generate as many collaborators as possible to use Pollinator Pathmaker to create site-specific artworks for insects across the globe. The ultimate goal is a globally distributed artwork with collective authorship that is used by non-human creatures. Each edition would serve as another stepping stone for pollinators, contributing to the creation of a cross-border artwork and network.

Regeneration, as advocated by environmentalist Paul Hawken in his book “Regeneration: Ending the Climate Crisis in One Generation”, means placing life at the center of every action and decision made by society. At the heart of this lie ethical questions concerning species and the need for practical solutions. Examples would be how humans and other beings can fairly share spaces, and how best to radically reset and reorient our relationships with, for example, insects. It would mean acknowledging that all growth is based on reciprocity.

In contemporary art, artists have been contributing ideas and practical instructions for regenerative approaches for years. Regenerative action calls for a rethinking of how we shape and create the environment already built. Such actions contribute fresh ideas to improving the resilience of society, restoring the health of the planet, and renewing ecological systems. In this context, Alexandra Daisy Ginsberg’s work, Pollinator Pathmaker, represents a pioneering outlook—a stance of empowerment in the fight to preserve biodiversity.


Bees, butterflies, moths, flies, beetles, and wasps are among the pollinating insects, of which there are 350,000 species worldwide. They land on flowers to drink nectar or feed on pollen, transporting pollen grains from place to place. This helps plants in their reproduction and distribution. Since plants cannot move, they “cooperate” with insects to ensure their own existence. The sheer beauty of flowers, including their vibrant colors, is crucial in attracting pollinators. Insects are particularly drawn to blue colors, which are rare in nature. Some flowers create optical effects such as iridescence to attract them. Scent also plays a central role.

New research at Tel Aviv University (Prof. Lilach Hadany, Molecular Biology Ecology of Plants, Faculty of Life Sciences) focuses on phytoacoustics, the study of the effect of sounds on plants. These researchers’ findings show that flowers perceive vibrations from approaching insects and respond by producing sweeter nectar for them. This type of symbiotic relationship is called “mutualism”. Indeed, the reciprocity between plants and pollinating insects has accelerated the evolution of flowering plants. They are able to adapt to the physical characteristics of insects within a few generations.

Wildflower meadows are among the ecosystems with the highest biodiversity. One-third of native plant species, pollinating insects, and other animal species live in wildflower meadows. In the last century, approximately 98% of wildflower meadows disappeared due to land sealing, conversion of land into monocultures for agro-industrial agriculture, intensive use of manure and synthetic fertilizer, and short mowing intervals. With state financial support and substantial funding from tax revenue and EU subsidies, nutrient-poor meadows are being transformed into profitable grasslands. The threat to wildflower meadows as habitats is directly linked to the decline of pollinating insects.

A decline in pollinator insect biodiversity is also directly linked to a decline in plant diversity. The rapid decline of species impoverishes ecosystems and, ultimately, it threatens human survival. After all, pollinators support ecosystems and three-quarters of the world’s food system. A new mindfulness for the needs of insects would mean securing our life on the planet – not only because these creatures benefit humans (nature for people, IPBES), but also because they have value by their very existence (nature for nature, IPBES). The value of a living being cannot only be measured in monetary terms.

Taking into account that land use change is a direct trigger for species extinction, the destruction of ecosystems and thus the disappearance of insects, the return of space to nature is a regenerative solution approach called for by numerous international scientists (Bending the Curve of Biodiversity Loss; IPBES; Club of Rome).

Alexandra Daisy Ginsberg (*1982, London, GB) is a multidisciplinary artist based in London. She holds a PhD in Design Interactions from the Royal College of Art, London (GB), and a Master’s degree in Architecture from the University of Cambridge (GB). For many years, Ginsberg has been exploring our intricate relationships with nature and technology. Through various themes such as artificial intelligence, synthetic biology, conservation, and evolution, she investigates the human drive to improve the world, while neglecting the natural world around us. Her project “Pollinator Pathmaker,” launched in 2021, was awarded the S+T+ARTS Grand Prize 2023 for Artistic Exploration at Ars Electronica. Her works can be found in international collections, including the Art Institute of Chicago (US), the Cooper Hewitt Smithsonian Design Museum in New York (US), and ZKM Karlsruhe (DE). She has exhibited in numerous international institutions including MoMA New York (US), Centre Pompidou (FR), Bozar – Palais des Beaux Arts, Brussels (BE), Serpentine Galleries, London (GB), Vitra Design Museum, Weil am Rhein (DE), and The Royal Academy of Arts, London (GB). And recent solo exhibitions include presentations at the Museum für Naturkunde, Berlin (DE) and the Toledo Museum of Art, Toledo (US).