In this interview Špela Petrič talks about the thoughts behind the series Confronting Vegetal Otherness. In the series Špela Petrič explores the possibility of intercognition between humans and plants based on the innate biosemiotic processes, that is the physico-chemical signs that facilitate a senseful interaction. Through the omission of technological interfaces, she addresses the distinct properties of animals and plants at different levels of organization (cells, individual, community), reasoning that to embody the post-anthropocentric paradigm towards plants, the human individual must transiently commit to a level of vegetalization.
Skotopoiesis (meaning shaped by darkness) is the first performance from the series attempting plant-human intercognition. In this durational piece, the artist and germinating cress face each other, illuminated by a light projection. The biosemiosis occurs through the obstruction of light; the artist’s shadow contributes to the etiolation of the cress (paling, lengthening), while the time she stands arrested to achieve this effect results in the shrinkage of the artist, making visible the effort of this cross-species encounter.
Špela Petrič (1980), BSc, MA, lives in Ljubljana, Slovenia. Her artistic practice combines natural sciences, new media and performance.
Confronting the otherness of plants
Interview: Jens Hauser, Denmark 2017
Camera: Elisabetta Saiu
Editing: Elisabetta Saiu
Production: Barbara Scherfig
Additional photo material: Name Lastname
Copyright: Kulturværftet/CLICK Festival 2017
Interview. 14:01 min.