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Linda Sjøqvist on The Mediated Plant

24 June, 2021

Humans see themselves as the centre of their environment, as the highest of the pyramid, the natural environment being there to sustain their race. Each time Western Europe discovers new aspects about living creatures, it directly infantilises them. With agriculture, humans started to fulfill their need for control over their environment to obtain more stability and comfort. But looking at plants as none living things is old-fashioned and colonialist. They sleep, they are hungry, they get jet lag. They may have souls. The text describes how emerging filming technologies enabled to record of plants in motion (which was kind of obvious because they grow and have never been static) and reacting to various stimulations. But again, humans looked at plants as babies or kids, and not as equals, patronising the plants and still seeing humans as the higher race. It shows how we started by colonising nature, then other humans, and now space. What for?

If we would see the natural environment – Gaia – as equal, and not as something we can master, would we be in today’s mess? Why are we all waiting for the big technological finding that will save us? Can only human brains save humans? Why can’t we look at nature and plants and learn from them? They were here before us, they probably have more wisdom than us.

The video Linnaeus and the Terminator Seed by Pedro Neves Marques which Teresa Castro refers to in the text visualises the themes about patronising nature and vegetation she describes. The image below shows a screenshot of it.

Linda Sjøqvist on The Mediated Plant

Humans see themselves as the centre of their environment, as the highest of the pyramid, the natural environment being there to sustain their race. Each time Western Europe discovers new aspects about living creatures, it directly infantilises them. With agriculture, humans started to fulfill their need for control over their environment to obtain more stability […]