26th Ji.hlava International Documentary Film Festival
Unheard (of) Relations
News from the world of plants
When looking at a plant, we usually only see what is on the surface - the stem, the trunk, and the leaves of the flower. But there's so much more underground – complex networks of roots through which water and nutrients flow. However, that's not all. Like living creatures, plants too are concerned with concepts such as knowledge and community. Plants are always interconnected, they form communities, and they have intricate communication networks. They are able to respond to stimuli that are unexpected to us, they have memory and are even capable of learning. We can talk about a certain subjective quality when it comes to plants. Understanding the plant universe through pioneering discoveries using unusual methods can give us a new perspective on nature.
Research Associate Professor in evolutionary ecology at Southern Cross University where she directs the Biological Intelligence (BI) Lab as part of the Diverse Intelligences Initiative of the Templeton World Charity Foundation. She has pioneered the brand-new research field of plant bioacoustics, for the first time experimentally demonstrating that plants emit their own ‘voices’ and detect and respond to the sounds of their environments. Her work has extended the concept of cognition (including perception, learning processes, memory) in plants. By demonstrating experimentally that learning is not the exclusive province of animals, she has re-ignited the discourse on plant subjectivity and ethical and legal standing. Her latest book is Thus Spoke the Plant: A Remarkable Journey of Groundbreaking Scientific Discoveries and Personal Encounters with Plants.
A philosopher focused on technology, ecology and visual cultures. As a researcher, he was based at Wirtschaftsuniversität Wien (Vienna), The Hong Kong Polytechnic University (Hong Kong) and BAK, basis voor actuele kunst (Utrecht). Likavčan is a lecturer at Center for Audiovisual Studies FAMU (Prague), faculty member at Strelka Institute for Media, Architecture and Design (Moscow) and a member of Display – Association for Research and Collective Practice (Prague). He is a co-editor of Czech anthology of contemporary philosophical realism Mysl v terénu. Filosofický realismus ve 21. století (Display / VVP AVU, 2018), and an author of Introduction to Comparative Planetology (Strelka Press, 2019).
*Monica Gagliano will join us live from Australia.
In cooperation with Heinrich Böll Foundation Prague.