Why Listen to Plants? was a program of talks, workshops and performances presented by Liquid Architecture and Design Hub Gallery.
Plants know worlds, they contain worlds and they make worlds
Plants exist within plurality; they are part of, and themselves contain, many worlds. In the course of survival in its environment, a plant cultivates relationships with various non-human others with whom it shares the earth and air. Plants communicate through these interspecies proxies, passing messages through pollen, bacteria, and along underground filaments of vast mycelial networks. Less competitive than they are collaborative, these interspecies co-operations position plant partners as important co-creators of vegetal life - and suggest that mutual aid may be as much a condition of material existence as mutual struggle.
In this program of experimental plant-listening, we attempted to model the best features of these interspecies entanglements (reciprocity, mutualism, collective intelligence) while leaving behind the worst (co-dependency, parasitism). Through talks, screenings, workshops, performances, reading groups and residencies, we explored plants as sites of collective organisation, and their collaborators microbes, fungi and bees as social protagonists. With so much to say, these super-organisms suggest expanded definitions of both non-human subjectivity, and the listening – discursive, decentred, yet embodied – necessary to tune into them.
Adrian Dyer & Scarlett Howard (RMIT), Aidyn Mouradov, Alicia Frankovich (NZ/DE), Amaara Raheem, Ann Lawrie (RMIT), Anthony Magen, Arini Byng, Jess Gall + Rebecca Jensen, Autumn Royal + Ela Stiles, Auntry Annette Xiberras, Ben Byrne, Benjamin Woods, Charlie Sofo, Danni Zuvela, Damien Nicholson, Debris Facility, Diego Bonetto, Djirri Djirri Dance Group, DJ Slime, Dylan Martorell, Floris Vanhoof (BE), Geoff Robinson, Gian Manik, Hannah Hallam Eames (NZ), Holly Childs (NZ/NL) + Gediminas Zygus (LI), Ivey Wawn (with Amaara Raheema, Arini Byng, Evan Loxton, Jimmy Nuttall, Lucien Alperstein, Megan Payne and Shota Matsumura), Jenna Sutela (FIN), Justin Clemens, Kalle Hamm (FIN), Katie West, Kelp D/J + Benjamin Hancock, Kirsten Bradley + Nick Ritar, Lucien Alperstein, Lz Dunn, Madeleine Mills, Magic Steven, Makiko Yamamoto (JP/AU), Maria Chavez (US/PE), Marjolijn Dijkman + Toril Johannessen (NED/NOR), Michael Marder (US), Monica Gagliano (IT/AU), Nathan Gray, Nic Dowse, Radha Labia, Scale Free Network (Briony Barr + Gregory Crocetti), Scott Mitchell (RMIT), Tarquin Manek + Ying-li Hooi, Tyson Campbell (NZ/AU), Walon Green (USA), Wet Kiss, Zheng Bo (HK)
Why Listen to Plants? was curated by Danni Zuvela, co-presented by Liquid Architecture and RMIT Design Hub Gallery.
Liquid Architecture: Danni Zuvela, Joel Stern, Georgia Hutchison, Debris Facility
RMIT Design Hub Gallery: Kate Rhodes, Nella Themelios, Erik North, Tim McLeod, Layla Cluer, Michaela Bear, Ari Sharp, Simon Maisch, Gavin Bell, Jessica Wood, Robert Jordan, Síofra Lyons, Ian Bunyi, Luke Pringapas
Graphic Design: No Clients (Samuel Heatley, Robert Janes, Ned Shannon, Beaziyt Worcou)
Special thanks: Elena Betros Lopez, Michael Bojkowski, Timothy Coster, Bella Hone-Saunders
Liquid Architecture is supported by City of Melbourne, City of Yarra, Creative Victoria, and the Australia Council for the Arts.
Why Listen to Bees? Artist camp is a collaboration with Milkwood Permaculture.
Image: Keelan O'Hehir, HYDRANGEA (Holly Childs and J. G. Biberkopf)
Why Listen to Plants? performances, images courtesy of Keelan O'HehirWheelchair access available