Kathy High (US)

Prague - December 6, 2012

Kathy High presents her paper within the panel Vegetal Sensoria at International conference Mutamorphosis in Prague, Czech Republic.

Inspired by Philip K. Dick’s short story “Piper in the Woods” I look at the phenomenon of humans becoming plants. In the short fiction, Dick describes a kind of ‘disease’ that affects military workers on another planet where they ‘become plants’ – with the ‘how’ of this phenomenon left unstated. This imaginary lead me to adopt this idea of ‘men becoming plants’.

Experimenting with the recycling life, waste, composting, the bio-symbiosis of growing, sunning, observation of plant behavior and movement, I explore the ideas laid out in Dick’s story through my own experiments and other artists.

For the most part environmental actions have failed us. Tactics of identification have somewhat changed the dynamic of meat consumption in the US. But there is a disregard for plant life with a lack of biodiversity, and genetically modified plants commonly accepted. The consideration of plant life and the development of empathy for plants encourages an identification – perhaps a ‘tactic of care’ worth exploring.

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