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'Plant Blindness' by Seamus Heidenreich at CHAUFFEUR, Sydney

We all have blind spots, we all engage in, and practice habits in which we are unaware of, however, 'Plant Blindness' is a term coined by botanists J. H. Wandersee and E. E. Schussler in 1999, explaining the blindness as a cultural development and result of nature-deficit disorder, where humans spend increasingly less time outside due to advances in modern lifestyles and technologies. 

They wrote, "We define plant blindness as (a) the inability to see or notice the plant's in one's environment, (b) the inability to recognize the important of plants in the biosphere and in human affairs, (c) the inability to appreciate the aesthetic and unique biological feature of the life forms that belong to the Plant kingdom, (d) the misguided anthropocentric ranking of plants as inferior to animals, and thus unworthy of consideration that plants form the basis of all life on earth". 

Heidenreich plays with these concepts of diversion and symbiosis in the natural, non- natural cohesion of animal, plant and human with no hierarchy of importance, while he touches on a simple observation such as 'how society teaches our children the names and unique qualities of animal species but rarely do we pass on knowledge of our plant cousins and their vital contributions to life'. 

'Zoochauvinism' needs to be addressed so we as humans rethink how to live symbiotically in ecosystems, or fail to exist at all. 

— Francesca Gavin

18.2.21 — 27.3.21


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