Interdisciplinary essays on Manuela Infante's award-winning play explore the relationship between critical plant studies and performance art in the Anthropocene
Since its first staging in 2016, Estado Vegetal, Manuela Infante's riveting piece of experimental performance art, has expanded philosophical thinking into a fully-fledged artistic inquiry of nonanthropocentric being. Through Infante's polyvocal monologue, acted with impetus by Marcela Salinas, plants are charged with an agency capable of uprooting culturally grounded conceptions of the world in the face of incommensurable trauma and loss.
This first book dedicated to Infante's plant-focused performance features eight essays by scholars, poets, and artists whose practices draw from research fields as disparate as new materialism, anthropogenic feminism, queer studies, and speculative realism. Including an interview with Infante, the full playscript, and stills from the performance, Estado Vegetal: Performance and Plant-Thinking reveals the roles that plants in art can play in productively reconfiguring human-nonhuman relations within current anthropogenic perspectives.
Infante's performance is a perfect case study and reference point for anyone interested in exploring the complexities of plant-thinking through alternative and experimental avenues. Furthermore, this book is at once a critical plant studies primer and an artistic problematization of the philosophical questions that have been central to the latest multidisciplinary discussions on plant-being.
Contributors: Maaike Bleeker, Utrecht U; Lucy Cotter, Portland State U; Prudence Gibson, UNSW Sydney; Michael Marder, U of the Basque Country; Dawn Sanders, U of Gothenburg; Catriona Sandilands, York U; Sibila Sotomayor Van Rysseghem, colectivo LASTESIS; Mandy-Suzanne Wong.