Archive for the ‘Humanplant Art’ Category

Artist Uses Dead Bees as Raw Material

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Plant Intelligence is in a mutually affective ecology with bees (some might call it love). Check out this visual elegy by Sarah Hatton, conceived in response to the loss of bees she was keeping and in support of banning neonicotinoid pesticides in North America.

Frida Kahlo at the New York Botanical Garden

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Coming up in May: Kahlo’s first exhibition in New York City for 10 years will focus on her relationship with nature and be set in the New York Botanical Garden in the Bronx.

“One of the most important paintings in the show is Kahlo’s 1931 portrait of botanist inventor Luther Burbank, who is credited with developing more than 800 varieties of plants. Kahlo paints him sprouting from the ground, a plant in his hand and his bottom half depicted as a tree. The painting can be read politically, Zavala says: ‘This work was at the top of my list, not only because of its subject matter but because Kahlo creates an extraordinary human/plant hybrid – it reflects her thinking and beliefs in 1931, a time when the mixing of species was anathema in places like Germany.’” (Burbank also wrote a tome on child-rearing called “The Training of the Human Plant.”)

I’d never before thought of Kahlo as an artist for critical plant studies attention but this show looks like it may change that. I hope I get to see it.

Details of the Kahlo exhibit here.

2015-01-16 Kahlo - Luther Burbank

Guerrilla Grafters Secretly Graft Fruit-Bearing Branches onto San Francisco Trees

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City officials contend that Guerrilla Grafters are breaking the law, but their actions have been celebrated by proponents of urban agriculture. And they have been included in the US pavilion’s Spontaneous Interventions exhibit at the Venice Biennale.”

You know that somewhere a lawyer is figuring out who owns any resulting fruit.

‘Fractal Poetics’: A rose is a leaf is a rose is a leaf

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“Before Benoit Mandelbrot’s fractal mathematics and Gertrude Stein’s roses, Johann Wolfgang von Goethe wrote about a primal plant, “Urpflanze,” which was constructed as a leaf within a leaf within a leaf. I wonder if his Platonic vision for this plant, from which all other plants derived, was an early imagining of fractal mathematics and response to fractal forms in the natural world (coast lines, human migration patterns, Romanesco broccoli).”

Read the rest of Amy Catanzano’s article on fractals, feminist philosophy, and models of poetic form at Jacket2.

I am Groot: The Fantasy of the Renewable Body

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“Groot is a Flora Colossus from Planet X, the capital of the branch worlds. The Flora Colossi are tree-like beings whose language is almost impossible to understand due to the stiffness of their larynxes, causing their speech to sound like they are repeating the phrase “I am Groot”.” More on Groot from Wikipedia.

In the recent and hugely popular action movie Guardians of the Galaxy, Groot is a woody superhero played by Vin Diesel, able to lose limbs defending his human friends, seemingly without too much loss of power.

At salon.com, Sarah Todd argues that the movie “attempts to bridge the cognitive dissonance of loving nature without caring for it by making Groot practically invulnerable.” “Guardians” evade[s] any kind of reckoning with its own short-sighted environmental politics,” writes Todd. “If Groot can give and give and then grow right back, there’s no need to worry about asking too much from him.”

Dancing baby Groot here.

This is what it sounds like when you put tree rings on a record player


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This is an excerpt from the record Years, created by Bartholomäus Traubeck, which features seven recordings from different Austrian trees including Oak, Maple, Walnut, and Beech. Keep in mind that the tree rings are being translated into the language of music, rather than sounding musical in and of themselves.

 

#vherbage site launched!

2014 04 25 vherbage

This week, the students of CRWR260 at the University of British Columbia Okanagan and I launched our collaborative digital writing project, #vherbage! #vherbage is the second student-centred collaborative work coming out of the institutional practice side of The Plant Intelligence Project. #vherbage is a celebration of language, plant subjectivity, connectivity and dendricity!

Students took their inspiration from ecopoet angela rawlings’ digital project gibber in a number of ways: #vherbage, like  the Twitter poem #gibberese, is a collaboratively written ecopoem composed in real time on Twitter. The curated poem appears animated on the site. The project also sees students combining image, sound, animation and text to create their interdisciplinary texts. Further, groups of students read rawlings’ more theoretical thoughts on asemic writing to come up with their own ideas about how the semiotic signalling of plants helps us think about our own use of language.

Just like last year, creative writing students connected with plant science students in Dr. Susan Murch’s plant biochemistry class to share discussions on metaphor and creativity in science and to source texts for found poems. Congratulations to all the authors on a beautiful finished project. Read more about the project and its authors here.

 

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