Oliver Kellhammer





  • Co-founder of DEAR CLIMATE, an ongoing creative-research project that hacks the aesthetics of instructional signage and the techniques of meditation to lead viewers and listeners towards a better informed, more realistic, and more affectionate relationship to the more-than-human world

  • Worked with insects, mealworms, to erode styrofoam packaging into ‘scholar stones’. He sees them as collaborations with a non-human partner

  • Concrete Island, for the 2006 World Urban Forum in Vancouver, exercised ‘anti-horticulture,’ drawing upon the processes of regeneration already embedded in the urban landscape

  • In the 1990s, Kellhammer worked with squatters in Canada’s poorest neighborhood to establish the country’s first public permaculture food forest, Cottonwood Community Gardens


Anthropocene & Posthumanism; Biodiversity & Biopolitics; Climate Change; Democracy & Capitalism; Economic Disparity; Empathy; Environmental Justice & Ecological Systems; Power & Privilege; Resilience, Wellness & Mental Health; Survival & Self-Determination; Water & Food Practices

Oliver Kellhammer is an artist, writer, and researcher who seeks, through his botanical interventions and social art practice, to demonstrate nature’s surprising ability to recover from damage. Recent work has focused on the psychosocial effects of climate change, decontaminating polluted soil, reintroducing prehistoric trees to landscapes impacted by industrial logging, and cataloging the biodiversity of brownfields. He is currently a lecturer in sustainable systems at Parsons School of Design in NYC.


He has lectured and given artists talks on bio-art, ecological design, urban ecology and permaculture at universities and cultural institutions throughout North America and abroad, including NYU, Rensselaer Polytechnic, OTIS College, University of Oregon, Emily Carr University, Smith College, University of British Columbia, Bainbridge Graduate Institute, University of Windsor, Aalto University (Finland) Tohoku University (Japan). Kelhammer holds an MFA in Creative Writing from the University of British Columbia (2009). He has received awards from the Canada Council, Ontario Arts Council, Vancouver Parks Board Art and the Environment Initiative, Vancouver Foundation, and the Vancouver Public Art Program. Writings on his research are frequently published and include, among others: Ruderal-Systems in The Distance Plan No. 5 (2019); Neo Eocene in Making the Geologic Now, edited by Jamie Kruse and Elisabeth Ellsworth (Punctum 2012) and Violent Reactions in Marina Zurkow’s Petroleum Manga (Punctum 2014). 

I try to create social justice and ecological justice through botany, in the sense that if you allow people the chance to create their own environment—and gardening is widely seen as an innocuous activity—it is a way to deconstruct the power relations that govern urban space. 

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