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Mother Trees are large, highly connected trees that play an important role in the flow of information and resources in a forest. Feral Practice will draw on scientific, artistic and more esoteric methods of interspecies communication to suggest how we might connect to trees as persons, teachers, guardians, kin. Vibrant material meetings and exchanges occur at every level of our bodies and worlds but often go unregarded, or unknown. If we sensitize ourselves (as vegetal philosopher Michael Marder advises) to the fuzzy edges of our subjectivity in order to meet beings very different to ourselves, might it be in the ‘wilds’ of the imagination that we can better re-align with nonhuman nature? 

Participants will be drawn into porous visual and sonic connectivity with the plant and fungal world through active listening exercises, participatory performance, solo work, and speculative improvisations. Together, we will seek to listen towards and speak from this lively world beyond the human. We will work with shifts of perception, close attention, speculation, imagination, and improvisation to engage deeply and differently with nonhuman beings, to perceive them and ourselves in new ways.

Our listening will include the use of technologies that extend/alter human auditory capacities, for example contact microphones, and a machine that translates the shifts in plants’ electrical circuits into musical tones, creating a ‘song’ direct from the plant. We will experiment with expanded listening and speculative anthropomorphism to open up unexpected pathways of creativity, and offer new ways of relating to place and to other species. 

 

The day will include two participatory performances lead by Feral Practice: Phytocentric and Mycorrhizal Meditation, group and solo activities exploring some of Letchworth’s wilder spaces, and a picnic lunch.