Live Matter, exhibition

Inspired by Goethe’s Primal Plant theory, Live Matter foregrounds poplar (Populus sp.) as a model organism among all extant species. But just how has this genus achieved such broad territorial dominance? Why has it come to define and unite globally diverse landscapes? The answers can be found in its internal pattern, its morphology, and its exceptionally vigorous root system. Cuttings taken from a single poplar can produce an infinite number of genetically identical trees. From microcosmic activity to the relationship between form and environment, plants can be studied as a living subject outside of classificatory ideologies. Once a recognition of the totality of the plant is made, the possibility of evolving plant form is revealed. The project as a whole offers a provocative new perspective on the living, breathing organisms that are all around us, yet seldom fully appreciated.

 

 

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With the generous support of Radcliffe Academic Ventures and Harvard’s Arnold Arboretum