Plant Revolution! in Guimarães

In a not so distant future, plants will take over the industrialized planet earth. These sentient beings will  resiliently survive planetary transformations, spreading their roots throughout the earth’s crust and abandoned architectural spaces, like a vegetable super brain that proliferates in multilayered dimensions. What will these plants think when they look back and reflect on how we related to them? And what can we now learn from plants at this time of planetary crisis?

Richard Lowenberg, Bio-Dis-Plays - The Frogs' Brain 1971-1978Richard Lowenberg, Bio-Dis-Plays - The Frogs' Brain 1971-1978

Reflecting on the relationship between humans and plants, this exhibition explores different narratives of technological mediation of the plant kingdom. The study of plants as infrastructure has raised interest among the scientific community over the last centuries, inspiring generations of researchers, as well as the development of technocosmologies and cybernetic systems. Deeply influenced by the knowledge of sacred plants, generations of technoutopians in California have been debating the sentience of plants, manifesting great curiosity for their expanded cognition, leading up to the emergence of areas such as biomimicry. On the other hand, the subalternization of plants by the food industry and geoengineering has created genetic divergences that affect their fertility, generating a condition of militarized and unequal domination. In response, resilient communities drawn from indigenous philosophies and agroecological thought have emerged worldwide, generating spaces of resistance and equitable cohabitation.

Plant Revolution! reflects on this interspecies encounter, posing the question what will happen when we blur the frontiers between the parasite and the host? Drawing from the continuity between beings and the environment, this exhibition includes works that explore forms of political recuperation, stimulating an emancipatory imagination and new vocabularies to think about the planet, beyond the partition of the natural world.

Curated by Margarida Mendes

With contributions by: Agency, Alexandre Estrela, Community of artisans Mujeres de la Resistencia, Diogo Evangelista, Filipa César, inhabitants, Joachim Koester, Joana Escoval, Knowbotiq, Maria Thereza Alves, Paulo Tavares, Pedro Neves Marques, Peter Zin, Regina de Miguel, Richard Lowenberg, Suzanne Treister, Terence McKenna, Teresa Castro, and texts by Amin Ahmet Mutawa, Erik Davis, Fernando Garcia Dory.

Flag Cloud word rain, Peter ZinFlag Cloud word rain, Peter ZinMemory of the Earth - Paulo TavaresMemory of the Earth - Paulo TavaresCONFERÊNCE 19 OCT — 17H00 A PLANTA MEDIADA TERESA CASTRO

Is the intelligent plant a plant necessarily mediated by technique - and in particular by visual technologies? Can technique invite us to rethink our place in the world and our relation with plants? Teresa Castro is Associate Professor in image theory at the film studies department of Université Sorbonne Nouvelle - Paris 3. She was a researcher at the Quai Branly museum, in Paris, and at the Max Planck Institute for the History of Science, in Berlin. Part of her current research focuses on film, animism and ecocriticism. 


Assembleia (Plant Revolution!) will debate Thing 000777 (Da Vine), a controversy between on the one hand the Center for International Environmental Law (CIEL) the Coordinating Body of Indigenous Organizations of the Amazon Basin (COICA) and the Coalition for Amazonian Peoples and Their Environment and on the other hand the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) concerning the patent on the ayahuasca drink. The debate will be initiated by a group of specialists, including phytotherapist and healer Alberto Suarez Chang, ecologist Joana Rafael, psychologist Maria Carmo Carvalho, anthropologist Rita Natálio, others. 

more info

Suzanne Treister HFT The Gardener 2014-15Suzanne Treister HFT The Gardener 2014-15

by Margarida Mendes
Mukanda | 15 October 2019 | Plant Revolution!