Plant(e)scape: walking as a botanical manifest / walking with plants

walk · listen · café

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walk · listen · create

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Event details

2020-09-29 18:00
18:00 UTC
Free for supporting members!
Tickets 3 - 5 euros
Recording
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Simona's introduction
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Simona Vermeire is researching and exploring the common grounds between the botanical world and walking, relating to vegetal or plant thinking to promenadology. She introduces us in her talk in the concept and visions of Plant(e)scape, into plant-thinking and plant-philosophy, relating her ideas to walking in nature, walking with plants and walking as becoming plants. 

In an etymological path this can be followed back to the planta – the sole of one’s foot. Henry David Thoreau, in his essay, “Walking,” says that half of one’s walk is but a retracing of earlier steps, so that even if we do not know where we are (ultimately) going, at least we might know where we have been.

But we are also “carried away” in two other corporeally-conscious ways: first, by the sights, sounds and smells which we encounter and which walk us toward and through them. The elements in the atmosphere, for example, or the mood (as in the weather or song) frequently bears and guides us. Secondly, we are carried by the places we walk and which hold us.  And “place” relates to plat, meaning broad or flat.

To carry this point a final step further, it should be (foot) noted that Thoreau, too, conjectured that there exists in nature a “subtle magnetism” which carries us, often unconsciously, in the “right” direction, and his speculations may relate in a sense to the recent discovery of magnetic zones in areas of wilderness, attracting us.

Philosophy, in this sense, begins not simply in wondering but also – quite literally – in wandering. Walking facilitates meditation, in part, because it provides mediation between us and the earth; it initiates conversation between the feet and the ground; it introduces our bodies to and into the world, the surrounding medium. Ideas and images start to flow; they form their own form of kinesthesia. 

Simona Vermeire

Simona Vermeire

SIMONA VERMEIRE holds a PhD in Comparative Literature from the University of Minho, Portugal and is a Post Doc Researcher in the Ontology of plants (Critical Plant Studies) at the Uminho University, Portugal. She also holds an MA in Image Studies from the ...

Geert Vermeire

Founder

Geert Vermeire is a curator, poet and artist, moving constantly between Greece, Portugal and Brazil, with a focus on spatial writing, locative sound & performance and social practices. He develops collaborative processes, departing from the ethical in...

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2 thoughts on “Plant(e)scape: walking as a botanical manifest / walking with plants

  1. This was very interesting and I am sorry we could not continue the discussion. Further to my comment about consuming less I now add the issue of depleting biodiversity. The human need/greed is destroying the environment (Agro-industrial growth) and therefore the ‘Plantscape’. Relying on ‘nature designation’ is not the solution, classifying areas as ‘protected’ allows further depletion of other spaces . We need to open an honest discussion as to what part our continued ‘taking’ plays and eventuality will lead to. As walking artists, by occupying these ‘green/nature spaces’ we can indicate through our practice how important engagement is with them. Only then we will understand the connections. When we walk we are not in the landscape – we are landscape.

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