Confronting Vegetal Otherness: Skotopoiesis
In an opus dedicated to the novel relationships between humans and plants, artist Špela Petrič investigates vegetal life as the unchallenged frontier of estrangement, revealing the limits of human empathy as well as its anthropocentric underpinnings. Plants are, in their omnipresence, utterly foreign complexity and lack of identification elements allowing anthropomorphism, ideal subjects of study in an attempt to establish an egalitarian relation with living otherness.
Through our increasingly complex comprehension of plant life, the Western philosophical tradition is challenged to modify its definitions of subjectivity, autonomy and essence of the living to incorporate plants. Petrič’s opus consisting of performances, installations and lectures, establishes novel phytocentic vantage points as alternatives to the prevailing anthropocentric, zoocentric or biocentric paradigms. The intentional censorship of a psychological, empathic or conservational attitude during the confrontation with vegetative otherness brings about the discussion of the otherwise neglected plant ethics. The opus will be presented within the “Trust Me I’m An Artist” framework, challenging a committee of experts from the fields of philosophy, new media arts and science to articulate criteria based on which we can expand our anthropocentric cosmology to authentically include all living organisms in their own right.