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Planthropy, 2015. Mixed media with custom hardware, 8 x 8 x 30 inches per plant sculpture, 2nd edition software. Photo: James Hilton.

Planthropy is a physical measure of global online philanthropy, dangling just out of the reach of its viewers below.  Live, lush greenery hangs from clear planters waiting to be watered through a WIFI system.  If anonymous donors choose to share their gifts on the internet using hashtags such as #DonateClimateChange or #DonateAnimalRights, the plants receive much needed sustenance while select messages play through the attached speakers.  If there are no donations, the plants are left to wither away.  Stephanie Rothenberg’s focus on the online donation model highlights its structure and pattern over time, its social implications for both donor and recipient, and the tangible effects of its disembodied process.

Stephanie Rothenberg is an artist using performance, installation and networked media to create provocative public interactions. Her work moves between real and virtual spaces investigating the power dynamics of techno utopias, global economics and outsourced labor. She has exhibited throughout the US and internationally in venues including Eyebeam in NYC, Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art (MASS MoCA) in North Adams, MA, the Sundance Film Festival in Park City, Utah, House of Electronic Arts in Basel, Switzerland, LABoral in Gijon, Spain, Transmediale in Berlin and ZKM Center for Art & Media in Karlsruhe, Germany. She is a recipient of numerous awards, most recently from the Harpo Foundation and Creative Capital. Residencies include the Lower Manhattan Cultural Council Workspace, Eyebeam Art and Technology and the Santa Fe Art Institute. Her work is in the collection of the Whitney Museum of American Art and has been widely reviewed including Artforum, Artnet, The Brooklyn Rail and Hyperallergic. She is Associate Professor and Director of Graduate Studies in the Department of Art at SUNY Buffalo where she teaches courses in design and emerging technologies

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