Agency of Singular Investigations, 2023

Cover page

The Botanical-Political Dictionary

- Introducing the secret political language of flowers.

What are the connections between orange blossoms and civil disobedience? Does exposure to mint oil make you more liberal-minded? Can a fragrant orchid persuade soldiers to lay down their weapons?

This book is the result of research carried out by the Agency of Singular Investigations (ASI) during their residency at Baltic Art Center in Visby, on Gotland. The Botanical-Political Dictionary introduces the secret political language of flowers. Looking for connections between the planting of flowers like the Guckusko and the process of spreading the liberating impulse of the late 20th century, members of the ASI studied the island's flora. The version of the flower language presented here differs from the traditional ones in that it was developed for the purpose of transmitting coded political messages. The dictionary contains more than thirty flowers that each refer to a political concept of importance in the 20th century and perhaps beyond. All entries include historical notes describing instances of past political uses and effects associated with the given flower. In addition to this the the introduction to the dictionary contains short articles on the Pluriverse Lexicon Series, the methodology of the ASI and its recent projects, which provide the contextual framework for the present edition.

The Botanical-Political Dictionary is the first publication in the Pluriverse Lexicon Series. Dictionaries that will become part of the series could be seen as something like DNA sequences that encode series of objects, be they words, thoughts or other entities, thus creating networks of meaning that describe possible universes.

Agency of Singular Investigations (ASI)

is a duo consisting of the artists Anna Titova & Stanislav Shuripa. The ”bureau” was founded in 2014 to respond to the changes in the cultural and political atmosphere in Russia, and to reflect on the power of images and media in constructing identities and worldviews. Anna Titova and Stanislav Shuripa are currently living and working in Paris.