A Nation With Too Much Wealth?
[C]onceptual artist Jonathon Keats has announced plans to produce film and video for other species — from rose bushes to almond trees — using specialized new techniques.Let's stop there for must a moment, shall we? Do bees really need someone to choreograph little steps for them? Did anyone ask them if they were interested in getting help in this regard?
“Humans have more entertainment than they can endure,” explains Mr. Keats. “Yet organisms with populations far greater than ours are routinely ignored by MGM and Disney.” Mr. Keats came to appreciate the potential impact of arts and entertainment on non-human audiences while choreographing ballet for honeybees at Chico State University last year. (source)
Apparently Mr. Keats was satisfied with the bees' response, however, so he decided to go mass-market, leaving bee ballet behind for the bright lights of Hollywood. With the emphasis on holly. And wood.
“Dance comes naturally to bees,” he says, “less naturally to trees. But all plants can perform photosynthesis. They’re sensitive to the play of light. As an entertainment form, cinema was practically made for them.”Hmmm. I spent most of last week in Clovis, an agricultural town a ways south of Chico, and I've got to say the crowd at Sandy's Country Junction would probably look Mr. Keats up and down and shake their heads with profound confusion ... and disgust, once they figured out that this guy was just another pornographer:
By projecting specially-prepared video directly onto foliage, Mr. Keats found an effective way to share films with bushes and brambles, even entire forests and jungles. Yet he chose to open the first movie theater for the botanical kingdom at 1078 Gallery, an alternative arts space in Chico, California. “Chico has the advantage of being an agricultural town,” he explains. “In a place like this, my venture is likely to be appreciated.”
Still an essential question remained: What genres of film would appeal to flora?Thanks a lot, Keats. You could have introduced plants to film with something inspiring -- a rising sun, a falling rain drop, a bursting blossom -- but because of you forever the history of plant cinema will have begun with base porn.
“This wasn’t the sort of situation where I could learn the audience’s mindset,” admits Mr. Keats. “The only thing that would be a sure hit, I figured, was sex.” Accordingly, the artist dutifully filmed plants getting pollinated, editing his uncensored footage into a gritty black-and-white porn video.