Patabotany #1: [At the Libarynth] The Forest is a College, Each Tree a University.

Pataplant Guild Sketch - Foam
Pataplant Guild Sketch – Foam

Adapting the absurdist metaphysical conjectures of Pataphysics (Alfred Jarry’s Science of imaginary solutions) to Botany creates a fantastic ecology of verdant pataphors. Metaflora, Phycological futurology and hypnogogic phyllotaxis perhaps? Libarynth invents and documents this new branch of speculative science and its related offshoots by ‘patafying’ the study of plants.

Triffids take note! Maja Kuzmanovic and Nik Gaffney’s Cursory Speculations on Human Plant Interaction ‘explores the nature of surfaces and processes required to facilitate reciprocal interaction between humans and plants’. Examined in the paper: the continued evolution of human-plant symbiotics – in their somatic and syntactic protocols. This includes shamanic enthogenic communication and Thalient strategies.

Visualists craving some pictorial cues will enjoy Foam’s Flickr stream of Patabotanical illustrations. Here you’ll find a collection of arbocultural surrealism – machine seeds and plant fusions. The Magnum Opus of this set is the extravagantly complex Pataforest, a kind of floating forest biohaven, apparently in complete self-contained harmony – a part-game design-plan for a topsoil Eden minutiae.

If patabotanical art has a precursor, maybe we need look no further than our friend Paul Klee – consider for example Botanical Theatre or Apparatus for the Magnetic Treatment of Plants. We should also not forget the arborescent algebraic notation of The Voynich Manuscript.

Note: ‘The Forest is a College, Each Tree a University’ is a line from the lyrics of Coil’s ‘Queens of the Circulating Library’


Leave a Reply