2018/ Author: Špela Petrič/ Dramaturgy: Isabel Burr Raty/ Manufacture of tools: Scenart d.o.o./ Design: Miha Turšič/ Photography: Miha Godec/ Video: Laurynas Skeisgiela/ Co-organiser: Osmo/za/ Supported by: Ministry of Culture, Republic of Slovenia and Vilnius Academy of Arts, Lithuania/
Acknowledgements: dr. Vytautas Mikelevičius, Saška Rakef, Tina Kozin, Bojana Saljić, Skaistė Marčienė, Linas Ramanauskas, Julija Navarskaitė, dr. Andrej Meglič, dr. Tine Grebenc, Nika Sajn, Maša LadyElectric, Sanja Rejc, Simon Gmajner, Meta Petrič, Luka Vidic, Andreja Džakušič, Irena Ašič, Društvo za skupnostno umetnost in prostor Krog, Društvo likovnih umetnikov Celje, Uroš Veber
To begin to map the structure of phytopolitics, we must acknowledge that the tools we use to grasp plant agency will ultimately determine the scope within which we perceive their governance, leading to the conclusion that such a project should look beyond science as the exclusive domain offering insights into the vegetal. Deep Phytocracy proposes a participatory performance where the audience is led to explore plant communities in the (urban) wilderness using recombinant tools. Recombinant tools are onto-epistemological objects that are developed in response to the detailed examination of the logic and values driving fields such as ecology, forestry, agriculture, myth, local traditions, tourism, national politics, economy, industry etc. Elements of these different fields are recombined and remixed to form new tools of observation.The onto-epistemological devices allow the participants to “measure” attractive and repulsive forces exerted by the plant communities. Since the recursivity of agential realism teaches us that it is impossible to disentangle the observer from observed, the values we place onto plant communities are legitimate forces through which the plants act on us. The tools themselves consist of prefabricated, familiar objects that have had their functionality reimagined. In their mundane aesthetic, the recombinant tools are a critical pause to the seamlessly integrated assumptions about knowledge, relations and history we act within.