'Botanical Speculations' is a symposium dedicated to plants in contemporary art and culture organized by Dr.Giovanni Aloi in collaboration with 'SAIC's Conversations on Art and Science' program. It will take place on September 29th, 2017 at the Ballroom, School of the Art Institute of Chicago, 112 S Michigan Ave, Chicago, 60603. The symposium is open to the public.
Keynote speakers: Giovanni Aloi and Michael Marder
New conceptions of vegetal life are now emerging. Groundbreaking scientific research and new philosophical perspectives are raising botanical challenges to our anthropocentric cultural background assumptions. And while science has been engaging the complexity of plants for some time, the humanities are just now beginning to consider vegetal beings as inhabiting very different, and yet related, sensorial dimensions to those of humans and other animals. A multidisciplinary approach to plant-life can reveal the importance of ecological interconnectedness and lead to a more nuanced appreciation of the variety of living organisms with which we share the planet. As climate change threatens all forms of life on the planet, considering human/plant relationships from new perspectives is essential to addressing urgent issues of mutual sustainability.
This symposium capitalizes on contemporary art’s ability to productively unhinge scientific theories and certainties in order to help us reconsider unquestioned beliefs about this living world. Through 'Botanical Speculations', researchers, artists, art historians, and activists will collaboratively map the uncharted territories of new forms of botanical knowledge.