We invite you to a performative lecture “Plant Movements: the Speech of the Universe” by Ursula Zajączkowska, botanist, poet and artist, professor at the Warsaw University of Life Sciences, during which she will talk about the role of the film medium in her scientific work and present short films on plant growth and development, recorded using time-lapse film technique and ultra slow-motion.
“I can’t imagine looking at plants without using film. Without speeding up their reactions to the level of speed I know from my life. The branch lengthens and bends toward the light. Seemingly similar to the movement of my hand, but for the plant, a revolution is taking place in its body during this time. I have to condense the plant’s time to ours, looking rapidly. I record in the lab, from outside the window, in the woods. I buy camcorders and hack them so that they have an interval and recording time tailored to the plants, not the pace of the setting sun. And when I then glue the photos together in a sequence, and when I finally look at it, I notice that the most interesting thing is out of focus, in the background, in the second, third planes.
I will show a lot of small films, unsuccessful, successful, from the borderline of life and death of plants. Some have been the subject of further, deep study, extending the analysis to molecular biology, biophysics, and have become a source of discovery. Others are, for the time being, just to look at.”