Zheng Bo in conversation with Natasha Meyers

Only recently, this year’s In House: Artist in Residence at the Gropius Bau, Zheng Bo arrived in Berlin. The artist and theorist explores how plants practice politics. Past and future are the central parameters of his politically and scientifically informed artistic practice, in which he deals with socio-economic themes and the relationship between humans and nature.

Zheng Bo, 2015
Photo: Jiang Chao

On 5 May, which marks the solar term “Beginning of Summer” (⽴夏),  Zheng Bo discussed the role of plant-human solidarity in the “Planthroposcene” with Natasha Meyers, an associate professor in the Department of Anthropology at York University in Toronto and director of the Plant Studies Collaboratory. Her current ethnographic projects speculate on the contours of the Planthroposcene, including vegetal sensing and sentience, the politics of gardens, and the enduring colonial violence of restoration ecology. Having coined this term, which signals the interference of plants in the heavily debated notion of the Anthropocene, Myers encourages us to “make allies with these green beings”.

During the conversation, Zheng took a walk on Hong Kong’s Lantau Island and Myers in Toronto’s oak savannah. Listeners were invited to do the same: to take a walk in nature and imagine possible relations between humans and plants.

Thanks to Gropius Bau for making this podcast available to us. For more eposides with Zheng Bo and information on his activities in Berlin check the websites ofof Gropius Bau.