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Photosynthetic Kink

By Rhizome

San Francisco-based artist Jonathon Keats is, in his own words, a 'fabulist.' For example, he once attempted to genetically engineer God in a petri dish in collaboration with scientists at the University of California, and recently he has presented extraterrestrial abstract art at the Judah L. Magnes Museum in Berkeley. When he was choreographing a piece for honeybees at Chico State University last year, Keats became interested in the potential impact of show business on non-human viewers and decided to produce motion pictures for other species, from rose bushes to almond trees. By projecting specially prepared video directly onto foliage, he has found a way to share films with bushes and brambles, for example. Therefore, he decided to open a movie theater for the natural world at Chico's 1078 Gallery, which will begin its program next September 10 with an adult film for the region's flora. As Keats has put it, 'This wasn't the sort of situation where I could learn the audience's mindset. The only thing that would be a sure hit, I figured, was sex.' So, he has made a gritty black-and-white work titled 'Cinema Botanica: Pornography for Plants' that, according to a caption in the footage, 'features explicit acts of cross pollination filmed in photosynthetic silhouette.' While looking for other venues to show the movie, Keats posted on YouTube a trailer ofit that is already drawing the attention of internet users and, perhaps, of the authorities, whom will undoubtedly flag it as inappropriate. Representing a step forward in his exploration of the uncanny, Keat's new project constitutes a revolution in the entertainment industry. - Miguel Amado

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