Bio · Book-Text-Read-Zines · Science · Theory

WHAT A PLANT KNOWS: A Field Guide to the Senses.


In grassy areas along the equator lives a tiny plant, Mimosa pudica, that has the captivating property of closing its leaves in response to touch. Rest a finger on one leaf, and that leaf and its neighbor will fold abruptly toward the stem. Brush your finger along the length of the stem and every pair of leaves will collapse in turn. For everyone who has wondered at Mimosa, the suddenly snapping Venus flytrap or the way a sunflower’s head unerringly turns to follow the sun, Daniel Chamovitz has written the perfect book.

What a Plant Knows: A Field Guide to the Senses examines the parallels and differences between plant senses and human senses by first considering how we interpret sensory inputs and then exploring how plants respond to similar inputs. Each chapter covers one sense—sight, smell, touch and hearing are covered, along with “How a Plant Knows Where It Is” and “What a Plant Remembers”—and each examines a wide taxonomical range of flora and a complementary historical range of experiments. In the book’s introduction, Chamovitz is careful to clarify his intentions in using language that might be considered anthropomorphic to explore the world of plants:

When I explore what a plant sees or smells, I am not claiming that plants have eyes or noses (or a brain that colors all sensory input with emotion). But I believe this terminology will help challenge us to think in new ways about sight, smell, what a plant is, and ultimately what we are.

Excerpt from an article/review by Andrea Wills at American Scientist. Continue HERE

WHAT A PLANT KNOWS: A Field Guide to the Senses by Daniel Chamovitz.

Human-ities · Performativity · Photographics

Wilder Mann: The Image of the Savage

Charles Fréger’s photograph series Wilder Mann compiles a long tradition of European masquerades of outstanding liminal zones at the edge between civilization and wilderness. As he explains, the anthropomorphic figures can be divided into two categories: those who belong to another world and represent a different kind of state or moment of change and transition (the devil, strangers, beggars, madmen, dead men), and those that need to be supplemented by an additional figure and create atypical couples because they represent only half a reality (the beauty and the beast, the human and the animal). Meanwhile, the zoomorphic masks use the most powerful beasts of the area in order to be grateful to the fertility of the soil, fecundity of women or the benignity of weather.

Savage, beautiful and surviving: photos from the wild side