Cultivating plant affection: Combating Plant Blindness

Plant affection:- the ability of a plant to affect–to change or make a difference to some thing and/or touching the feelings of some thing. Things–agents with power to act and cause effects whether human or other wise (thinking amidst Jane Bennett’s (2010) vital materiality).

Plant blindness:- an inability to notice the plants around you and their importance to people, place and planet.

“Being insensitive to the aesthetic qualities of plants and their structures-especially with respect to their adaptation, coevolution, colour, dispersal, diversity, growth, pattern, reproduction, scent, size, sounds, spacing, strength, symmetry, tactility, taste and texture” (Wandersee & Schussler 1999).

Eight seconds, the average length of time some one will look at an image.

“Plant-blindness essentially is our cultural inability to conceive plants beyond the prefixed cultural schemata. It is that which simultaneously reduces them to resources or aesthetic objects. From an aesthetic perspective, more specifically, paying attention to plants entails the possibility of considering new modes of attention and crafting new modalities of perception (Aloi, 2018,xx).

 Peter Kahn’s “environmental generational amnesia” — the idea that each generation perceives the environment into which it’s born, no matter how developed, urbanized or polluted, as the norm. And so what each generation comes to think of as “nature” is relative, based on what it’s exposed to.” Science Daily

Aloi, G. (2018). Why Look at Plants?: The Botanical Emergence in Contemporary Art. Brill.

Bennett, Jane (2010). Vibrant Matter: A Political Ecology of Things. Durham, North Carolina: Duke University Press.

Wandersee, J.H. & Schussler, E.E. (1998, April 13). A Model of Plant Blindness. Poster-paper presented at the 3rd Annual Associates Meeting of the 15 Degree Laboratory, Louisiana State University, Baton Rouge.

Wandersee, J. H., & Schussler, E. E. (1999). Preventing plant blindness. The American Biology Teacher61(2), 82-86.