RMIT Design Hub

current exhibitions

Thursday, 22 November, 2018 to Saturday, 8 December, 2018

Why Listen to Plants? is a program of talks, workshops and performances presented by Liquid Architecture and Design Hub.

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 attempt 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 explore 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.