Quotes

”… connections might just as easily—and with greater biological accuracy—be forged on the basis of the forms of cooperation, generosity, and abundance that are everywhere at work in complex ecosystems. These principles also underpin a growing number of theories of the commons, in which forms of continual exchange integrate humans more tightly within the more-than-human world and provide the conditions for biological life and social relations to thrive.”

(Joanna Page,”Art for a Future Planet Beyond Apocalypse”, Environmental Humanities 13:1 / May 2021, p. 178)

“If you think that trees make the forest, read this: From the perspective of the forest the most important activities happen in the ground. Half of the growth of the forest takes place there.” (translated from Finnish)

(Anna Ruohonen, “Metsä maan alla” in Jokiranta, Anssi, Juntti, Pekka, Ruohonen Anna and Jenni Räihä Metsä meidän jälkeemme [The Forest After Us] Helsinki: Like 2019, p 235)

“We are contaminated by our encounters; they change who we are as we make way for others. As contamination changes world-making projects, mutual worlds – and new directions – may emerge.”

(Anna Löwenhaupt Tsing, The Mushroom at the End of the World. On the Possibility of Life in Capitalist Ruins. Princeton University Press 2015, p.27.)

“The events of the process of cell division are common to all earthly life; neither man nor amoeba, the giant sequoia nor the simple yeast cell can long exist without carrying on this process of cell division. Anything that disturbs mitosis is therefore a grave threat to the welfare of the organism affected and to its descendants.”

(Rachel Carson, Silent Spring, 1962, A Crest Reprint, Fawcett Publications, p 111.) 

“We all strive for safety, prosperity, comfort, long life, and dullness. The deer strives with his supple legs, the cowman with trap and poison, the statesman with pen, the most of us with machines, votes, and dollars, but it all comes to the same thing: peace in our time. A measure of success in this is all well enough, and perhaps is a requisite to objective thinking, but too much safety seems to yield only danger in the long run.”

(Aldo Leopold, Thinking like a Mountain, in A Sand County Almanac: And Sketches Here and There, Oxford University Press 1949 )

“…just as the rings of the tree are a material record of years of soil conditions, patterns of rain and drought, our bodies are records of the pharmaceuticals we pump into our waterways; increases in skin cancer are contractions of our carbon emissions.”

(Astrida Neimanis and Rachel Loewen Walker, “Weathering: Climate Change and the ‘Thick Time’ of Transcorporeality”, Hypatia vol 29, no. 3 (Summer 2014), 573.)

“… in the posthuman convergence, zoe embraces geologically and technologically bound egalitarianism, acknowledging that thinking and the capacity to produce knowledge is not the exclusive prerogative of humans alone, but is distributed across all living matter and throughout self-organising technological networks.”

(Rosi Braidotti, Posthuman Knowledge, Polity press 2019, 51.)

“…the crafting of a research question is the crafting of a story that is also the crafting of an ethics.”

(Natalie Loveless, How to Make Art at the End of the World. A manifesto for Research-Creation. Duke University press 2019, 95)

“The tree is something new at every moment: we assert form because we are incapable of perceiving the most precise absolute movement.”

(Friedrich Nietzsche Sämtliche Werke 9, 1980, p. 554, quoted in Elaine P. Miller, The Vegetative Soul. From Philosophy of Nature to Subjectivity in the Feminine. New York: State University of New York Press 2002, p.81.)

“To act as if the world beyond humans is composed of ‘things’ for human use is a catastrophic assault on the diversity, complexity, abundance, and beauty of life.”

(Deborah Bird Rose, “Shimmer: When All You Love is Being Trashed” in Tsing A., Swanson H., Gan E. & Bubandt N. (eds) Arts of Living on a Damaged Planet. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press 2017, p. G55)

“Goethe believes that the only way a human being can have access to the truth of nature was by letting nature imprint itself on the human body.”

(Elaine P. Miller, The Vegetative Soul. From Philosophy of Nature to Subjectivity in the Feminine. New York: State University of New York Press 2002, p.73.)

“…the tree is the epitome of a plant. The tree resides over my plant contract.”

(Prudence Gibson, The Plant Contract. Art’s Return to Vegetal Life. Leiden, Boston: Brill / Rodopi 2018, 163.)

“I guess I’m trying to subjectify the universe, because look where objectifying it has gotten us.”

(Ursula K. Le Guin, “Deep in Admiration” in Anna Tsing, Heather Swanson, Elaine Gan, Nils Bubandt (eds.) Arts of Living on a Damaged Planet. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press 2017, 16.)

”Although semiosis is something more than energetics and materiality, all sign processes eventually ’do things’ in the world, and this is an important part of what makes them alive.”

(Eduardo Kohn, How Forests Think. Toward an Anthropology Beyond the Human. University of California Press 2013, p.34.)

“From my point of view, he can be called a remarkable man who stands out from those around him by the resourcefulness of his mind, and who knows how to be restrained in the manifestations which proceed from his nature, at the same time conducting himself justly and tolerantly towards the weaknesses of other.”

(George Ivanocivh Gurdjieff, Meetings With Remarkable Men. Penguin Compass, 2002, p.31)

“One of the ways we can learn to appreciate just how the trees are watching us is to begin to vegetalise our sensoria, reworking our perceptions with planty attentions.” 

(Natasha Myers, “Are the Trees Watching us?” Q/A Spike Art Magazine #65 Autumn 2020 )

“Nowhere in healthy life do you find unlimited, linear growth. Rather you find bounded growth embedded within a context, and you find regulated processes of death and decay that accompany any growth process”

(Craig Holdrege, Thinking Like a Plant, Lindisfarne Books 2013, p 21.)

“Carbon dioxide plus water combined in the presence of light and chlorophyll in the beautiful membrane-bound machinery of life yields sugar and oxygen. [–] Sugar combined with oxygen in the beautiful membrane-bound machinery of life called the mitochondria yields us right back were we began – carbon dioxide and water.”

(Robin Wall Kimmerer, Braiding Sweetgrass, UK: Penguin Random House 2020, orig 2013, p. 344)

“… every day we feed off the gaseous excretions of plants. We couldn’t live but off the life of others.”

(Emanuele Coccia, The Life of Plants. A Metaphysics of Mixture. Trans. Dylan J. Montanari. Polity Press 2019, p 47.)

“We don’t think about urban violence as an extension of environmental violence, but these anxieties are linked.”

(Felling Light by Amaud Jamaul Johnson in Emergence Magazine Issue 7 – Trees)

“Every tree has a unique DNA identity, termed (with some anthropomorphic arrogance) a ’fingerprint’.”

(Lucy Davis, ”Animation, Animism… Dukun Dukun and DNA” in Giovanni Aloi (ed.) Why Look at Plants? Leiden, Boston: Brill Rodopi 2018, p. 81-88.)