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Agency of Plants

Symposium im Rahmen der Ausstellung Parliament of Plants II

With contributions by Ursula Biemann, Roosa Laitinen, Nadja Mazouz, Julia Mensch, Christiane Meyer-Stoll, Uriel Orlow, Linda Schädler, Patrícia Vieira, and Yvonne Volkart, as well as by students of the Institute Art Gender Nature HGK Basel FHNW

In the current ecological crisis, which is also a social, psychological and political crisis, there is a growing realization that humans must connect and ally with non-human beings in new ways. In particular, plants—those beings long perceived as other, alien, immobile and passive—are gaining new attention. Not only do plants take care of human and non-human animals, traditional agricultural practices and recent botanic research show that plants have a profoundly rich sensorium: they speak, communicate, make decisions, are responsive and adaptive and help shape environmental conditions. In short, plants have agency, they have an “extended cognition” (as plant theorist Michael Marder has noted) and thus can be defined as intelligent and as “active” subjects.

What does this mean exactly? What does it mean that plants “have rights”? And what impact does this have in “our” dealings with, or rather in our coexistence with, plants?
The symposium Agency of Plants takes up these questions and examines them through various presentations and joint discussions.

Costs: Museum Admission
Registration is requested →

Many thanks to Roman Kurzmeyer, Senior Lecturer at the Institute Art Gender Nature HGK Basel FHNW, for preparing the participation of the students.
The symposium is made possible with a contribution from the H.E.M. Foundation, Vaduz.
A cooperation of the Kunstmuseum Liechtenstein and the Institute Art Gender Nature HGK Basel FHNW, with the support of the Swiss National Science Foundation and the ETH’s Prints and Drawings Collection, Zurich

Flyer download (PDF)

Website of the research projectWebsite of the research project Plants_Intelligence

Date and time

21.9.2023, 10:00–20:00 iCal


Kunstmuseum Liechtenstein
Städtle 32
9490 Vaduz, Liechtenstein


Basel Academy of Art and Design
Institute of Art Gender Nature

Institute Art Gender Nature (IAGN)

FHNW University of Applied Sciences and Arts Northwestern Switzerland Basel Academy of Art and Design, Institute Art Gender Nature (IAGN) Building: A 1.10 Oslo-Strasse 3 CH - 4142 Münchenstein near Basel