The Place of Plants: Spatiality, Movement, Growth

Michael Marder


Considering the ways in which plants move and shape the places of their growth, this article suggests that performing arts should account for the vegetal (and not only animal) model of movement. The implications of including plants in the category of “moving beings” are vast, as they touch upon the dynamic relation between immanence and transcendence, questions of time-scales appropriate to different kinds of beings and their responses to the environment, and phenomenologies of place corresponding to diverse forms of life. I argue that although, for humans, performing vegetal movement is “performing the unperformable,” art grants us a unique access point to experiencing what is entailed in such movement and in the places wherein it unfolds.

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