Margaretha Haughwout’s personal and collaborative artwork explores the intersections between ideas of technology and wilderness, digital networks and the urban commons, cybernetics and whole systems permaculture — in the context of ecological, technological and human survival. Her active collaborations include the Guerrilla Grafters: an art/ activist group who graft fruit bearing branches onto non-fruit bearing, ornamental fruit trees, and the Coastal Reading Group: consisting of artists from different coasts who trouble the subjects of wilderness, speciation, humanness and ways of knowing through diverse engagements with (non)humans. Haughwout and her collaborators at Hayes Valley Farm, an interim-use urban permaculture farm in downtown San Francisco, cultivated low input ecological systems and developed a unique lateral governance structure that was able to engage a range of different kinds of human input while still navigating complex politics with city agencies. Her work manifests as art, medicine and thought.
Haughwout has been awarded numerous grants for community based work in San Francisco, and her personal and collaborative artwork has been exhibited nationally and internationally. Haughwout received her MFA at the University of California Santa Cruz, her Permaculture Design Certificate from the Urban Permaculture Institute, and has studied with numerous herbalists including Matthew Wood and Autumn Summers. She received certification from the California School of Herbal Studies. In her classes as Assistant Professor of Digital Studio at Colgate University, she draws connections to legacies in conceptual art, new media art, and collaboration, in order to foster distributed, artistic approaches to the interconnected issues of our time/s.