Poetry. Literary Nonfiction. Art. Environmental Studies. Philosophy. Vegetal life forms are banal in their ubiquity. Undeniably alive, yet silent, they creep upwards, their roots submerged and out of human sight. Like anarchists protesting order, weeds break through concrete. Plants challenge theoretical logic as well; they can be both one and many: Aspen trees growing on a hillside share a single root system. Plants have occupations and desires: engaged in constant growth, they spread out with a will to consume and occupy space. Studies confirm that plants communicate and activate built-in chemical defense mechanisms to ward off predators. Some even move visibly: Mimosa plants close in on themselves when touched by a human finger. This would suggest some kind of sentience, but what would the character of that sentience be? How do we quantify it? IMPERCEPTIBLY AND SLOWLY OPENING highlights the inaccessible subjectivity that plants possess. Featured artists and writers reflect upon plant life as it troubles both physical and ideological human spaces.
Contributors include Giovanni Aloi, Kristina Chew, Every house has a door, Brooke Holmes, Karen Houle, Joela Jacobs, Ronald Johnson, Devin King, Eben Kirksey, Deanna Ledezma, Renan Laru-an, Michael Marder, Nathanaël, Chantal Neveu, Mark Payne, Caroline Picard, Catriona Sandilands, Steven Shaviro, Eleni Sikelianos, Monica Westin, & Leila Wilson
"The absolute pillar of modern philosophy is the notion that human thought is something ontologically different in kind from everything else. The gap between chunks of iron on one side and chimps and dolphins on the other is supposedly nothing compared to the perilous leap from 'sentient' chimps and dolphins to 'sapient' humans. The present anthology reminds us of just how much may be going on with intelligence outside of humans. This makes it another important contribution to the non-modern philosophy of the future."—Graham Harman
"IMPERCEPTIBLY AND SLOWLY OPENING revolutionizes our normalized, indeed 'naturalized' concept of the environment as a choreography of pitched skirmishes and uneasy periods of truce, presided over by the human animal as predator-in-chief. If physics premises its narrative on entropy, portraying the universe as declining inexorably towards heat death, botany may well embrace the opposite principle of vitality, an exuberant, resilient force that expresses itself through diversity. Imperceptibly and Slowly Opening gestures toward possibilities of thought and action that might help us redeem ourselves, as members of a species whose rapacity has driven its home planet to the edge of catastrophe."—Ranjit Hoskote
"As with most Green Lantern Press publications, IMPERCEPTIBLY AND SLOWLY OPENING unfolds in intricate evolutions, which in the context of biology and human thought (two ever-adaptable branching systems) is no less discerning on the delicate nature between the nearly imperceptible progressions that constitute viewing, seeing, and experiencing the anthropocene."—Stephanie Cristello
"Reading this collection of works about plants is akin to venturing out on a hike through unfamiliar woods. The environment feels familiar and inviting and yet, things are different, unexpected, and sometimes thrilling. The works appear with their own organic logic and cadence. Most importantly, what you receive from them depends to a great deal on what you brought with you to the woods and on how closely and patiently you are willing to look, how open you are to escaping your own expectations or preoccupations. And you'll certainly find spots that you'd hope to return to again some day to seek that fleeting inspiration it offered the first time around."—Chuck Cannon
Caroline Picard is a writer, publisher, and curator. Her writing has appeared in Artslant, ArtForum (critics picks), Flash Art International, and Paper Monument, among others. She is the Executive Director of The Green Lantern Press—a nonprofit publishing house and art producer in operation since 2005—and the Co-Director of Sector 2337, a hybrid artspace/bar/bookstore in Chicago.
Author City: CHICAGO, IL USA