‘Vegetal Transmutation’ by Eduardo Navarro and Michael Marder
Read a transcript of the BSL
Take a moment to draw a cosmic breath with your whole body, slower than any breath you have ever taken in your life.
Close your eyes. See and hear with your skin as you embody the density that emanates from within the seed of your thoughts. Register the vibrations rippling throughout the space around you and the radiant waves enveloping you. Caress the air with your hands, petting its flows with each fingertip. Feel how grounded, yet free, you are – stable, but supple.
Your skin is more than skin. It is at the same time an enormous leaf in which your whole body is wrapped, as well as a respiratory system and a number of sense organs, photosensitive and acoustically engaged.
Break out into light while staying connected to the dark and the obscure. Your fingers are roots and branches. There are more fingers branching out from your fingers in order for you to hug the earth and the sky better, more thoroughly.
One arm stretches tall; the other seeks deep in the soil. Span these extremes with your midsection: your chest, your trunk. Pay equal attention to both arms, orientations, worlds. Receive the kisses of the sun on your eyelids, ears, mouth, cheeks, fingers... Imbibe the cool moistness of the earth with the other arm and a part of your trunk. Become the crossing between the warmth that gently touches you and the coolness you soak up.
Your limbs rotate in every direction, weightlessly reaching out to light and to darkness. Grow little by little, both intensively in time and extensively in space. Contract, minimise yourself, decay. Grow from contracting; contract from growing.
Focus on the soles of your feet as they absorb energy from planet Earth with every breath. Concentrate on the crown of your head, receiving the energy of the atmosphere. More like a tree crown, it is no longer a head. Think as you are breathing and perceiving – with your whole body, skin, limbs, lips, tips and edges. Do not hoard thoughts in your brain. Instead, let them circulate, like sap, in every part of yourself.
You are in an endless state of communion and infinite contemplation with other natural elements and beings. Can you see with your skin and hear with your arms? Can you think together with the air and the sun and the soil? Can you dream with your feet? Imagine with
Perhaps there are other plants sharing the space with you.
Acknowledge these vegetal beings as you gradually move around in a wordless communicative practice. Experiment with the language of gestures, of physical expressions and forms. A choreography of touching without touching: the language of plants.
Move in the place where you are and sense the place moving along with you, growing and contracting rhythmically. Care for your place and for your attachment to it. You do not have your place; the place embraces you in itself. Render it equally welcoming, open to others.
Experience your place as always the same and radically different, ramified and attuned otherwise in each instant. What does it mean for you to be at home there?
Your breathing is in constant dialogue with your surroundings. Breathe in your depths, with the lungs, and on the surface, with the skin. Re-establish the ties between inner and outer breathing to sustain a respiratory conversation with the world. Root in your body through this double breath.
Inhale the space, exhale the sky.
You are tending to your impulses, decisions and actions on a horizontal plane, letting them become a holistic garden. Nurture it with your breath and the humid density of the obscure ground from which they spring.
As you are very slowly dying, while also staying alive, your body becomes the soil you are living in. You are perpetually feeding yourself and others in a delicate equilibrium.
Feel the slow rotations of the cycle of life. In tandem with it, let fresh sprouts, bulbs and seeds in the space gradually take over. Nourish and support them from below. Allow the subtle movements of air and visible or invisible winged creatures to carry your seeds and pollen like messages across time. Disseminate yourself, holding nothing back.
Repeat outside the space, weightlessly reaching out to light and to darkness.