Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Other: "Botanica"

I'm not sure what to do with this exactly, but I got an e-mail from a reader about it, and it does appear to be the sort of thing I should report to the rest of y'all, so here we go.

WHAT: a (live!) drama called "Botanica," written by Jim Findlay. I found it pretty hard to get a handle on, because the reviews and promotional materials seem to be trying very hard not to say much about it, but the short synopsis from the "Botanica" website reads:

The narrative of BOTANICA tracks the scientific experiments and the developing relationship between two botanists who are sealed in a research facility — a human terrarium. They share their habitat with the janitor/plant caretaker, who seems unremarkable except for his curious habit of reading aloud to the plants late at night the most salacious sections of books by Bataille and Aragon, along with his own self-penned blue poetry. Initially the experiments seem to demonstrate an astonishing scope of plant consciousness, but eventually the botanists hit a dead end. They decide to bring the janitor into their research. The introduction of this human subject reinvigorates their investigation but leads to unforeseen consequences and unleashes a flood of unusual findings that end in chaos as the constraints of science and social norms are overturned.
Or you can read the New York Times review.

WHAT?: I don't know. Apparently it's experimental, and artistic or something. Also there's some plant-fucking involved, though you should have assumed that when I said "artistic."

UM, OKAY. WHERE?: 3LD Art & Technology Center (80 Greenwich St., New York City)

WHEN?: February 22-25, 8 PM.

TICKETS: Can be purchased here, and are $10-30.

SERIOUSLY?: I realize most of my readership isn't going to be able to see this, and only some of those who are able are going to want to, but it seemed like the sort of thing I should say something about, because obviously one is curious. I mean -- plant-fucking? How does that even work? In any case, if any reader happens to be in New York later this week and decides to attend, I insist that you report back and explain to me what it is that you saw and whether it was any good.


Pat said...

Consent would be difficult to ascertain, I would think.

I will have to contain my curiosity until the European tour. I do love mad art and plants and sex but dendrophilia seems a bit much even for me.

Andrew Abl─Śnas said...


Thomas said...

Wonder if I'll ever be able to read "tree-hugger" again without thinking about this.

MrBrownThumb said...

I don't know how plant fucking works, but as someone who has regularly walked through the garden on a summer day, and walked into the house covered in pollen- they must find a way to do it.

Ginny Burton said...

"The Pollinators of Eden" had a fair bit of plant/human sex, as I recall.

nycguy said...

It sounds like Waiting for Godot meets Little Shop of Horrors.

Gordon Rigg said...

A very weird post!

Anonymous said...

Submitted for your consideration (said Mr. Serling, portentiously):

Nonfiction book:
*On the Various Contrivances by which British and Foreign Orchids are Fertilised by Insects* by Charles Darwin, 1862. Public domain; available online. The following page directs the reader to several versions including page images, text files, and HTML.


Science fiction short story:
"Planting Time" (c) 1975 by Pete Adams and Charles Nightingale. Collected in *Galactic Empires* edited by Brian Aldiss (c) 1976. Originally published by St. Martin's. Book Club edition in 2 volumes; this story is in Vol. 1.

Several copies of *Galactic Empires* are available in public libraries in Minnesota (where I live). Your local librarian should be able to obtain it for you through Interlibrary Loan. The book is also readily available used online; many copies are less than $5.00.

Cattleya labiata alba

Anonymous said...

And our local Botanical Garden is called Botanica, The Wichita Gardens. Trademark infringement anyone?