Camden Art Centre announces the launch of new podcast Camden Art Audio

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Camden Art Centre announces the launch of new podcast Camden Art Audio
Hildegarde von Bingen, Liber Divinorum Operum (The book of divine works), 13th Century. Illuminated Manuscript. By concession of the Ministry for Cultural Heritage and Activities - Lucca State Library.

LONDON.- Camden Art Centre announces the launch of a new strand of podcast programming, Camden Art Audio, which will expand on ideas and themes developed in the gallery’s exhibition programme. Martin Clark, Director of Camden Art Centre, says: “I'm excited to dip our toes into the world of audio and launch our brand-new podcast programme Camden Art Audio, which will explore some of the big ideas emerging from our current programme as well as the world more broadly.”

Camden Art Audio will launch with a four-part series expanding on The Botanical Mind Online. The series will draw on some of the leading voices in the fields of science, anthropology, music, art and philosophy; the project will form an expanding archive, discussing ideas of plant sentience, indigenous cosmologies, radical botany, Gaia theory, quantum biology, and the influence of psychoactive plant medicines on various cultures and counter-cultures across the globe.

Launching on Friday 22 May, The Botanical Mind series will include episodes on Plant Sentience, Plant Healing in the Amazon, Hildegarde Von Bingen, and Gaia Alchemy, as well as a new music commission by Kirk Barley.

Plant Sentience

A New Model of Intelligent Life
22 May 2020

Leading scientist in plant cognition Monica Gagliano (Australia) presents a new understanding of the vegetal world. She argues that in order to understand plant sentience, we need to radically rethink our definitions of intelligence and consciousness to move away from a human-centric model. By assessing a survey of plant capabilities, ranging from sight, smell and touch to communication, the podcast will challenge our notion of intelligence and present a vision of plant life that is more sophisticated than most imagine.

Plant Healing in The Amazon

5 June 2020

The Shipibo-Conibo people are an ethnic group living along Ucayali River in the Amazonian rainforest in Peru. Having resisted oppression from the Incan Empire and Western colonisation, their traditional culture involves a profound understanding of the sacred plants of the Amazon, with an emphasis on healing and spirituality. Camden Art Centre curator Gina Buenfeld will describe her experiences in the Amazon rainforest alongside interviews with traditional healers to provide a rare insight into their physical and spiritual relationships with sacred plants.

Hildegarde Von Bingen

The Threads of The Air

19 June 2020

Musician Sarah Angliss (London, UK) draws on the botanical writing of Hildegard von Bingen, a twelfth-century Christian mystic, to help make sense of her own experiences of illness, healing and the turn of the season while the city is in lockdown. Sarah will immerse us in a sonic fever dream, using fragments of Hildegard’s texts on herbal medicine to explore her personal experiences of fever as she examines Hildegard’s ecstatic visions. She discusses how Hildegard’s progressive approach to washing rituals and the observation of nature reverberate through the ages. In the face of a new pathogen that reveals the limits of modern medicine, it’s hard not to feel an affinity with those who experienced contagions in Hildegard’s time. Many are retreating to measures that would not have seemed unfamiliar to Hildegard, in the absence of a cure. This podcast features a score specially written by Sarah, which responds to Hildegard’s writing on The Threads of The Air - describing the purifying properties of the air as summer comes and goes.

Gaia Alchemy

Dr Stephan Harding

3 July 2020

About 400 years ago, during the scientific revolution, science and soul were drastically separated, propelling humanity into four centuries of scientific exploration based on empiricism and rationality. Although the huge development of science has given us many benefits, its predominance has made us into detached observers fundamentally disconnected from each other and from nature. And yet, in our own time, science has given us detailed knowledge about the evolution of our Earth – Gaia – whilst depth psychology, in the guise of alchemy, provides us with profound insights about the workings of the human psyche. Dr Stephan Harding explains how Gaia Alchemy integrates the sciences of the Earth with alchemical approaches to psyche so we can live harmoniously within the limits of our planet.

Music Commission 

Kirk Barley (UK)

Camden Art Centre has commissioned Kirk Barley to compose the music to accompany The Botanical Mind Online programme. He has adopted the Fibonacci sequence, a naturally occurring pattern that repeatedly appears in the botanical world, as an underpinning tuning system (or scales) for the compositions. The music explores how intricate number patterns found in nature can be channelled to generate synthesised rhythmic and melodic patterns.

The Botanical Mind Online investigates the significance of the plant kingdom to human life, consciousness and spirituality across cultures and through time. It positions the plant as both a universal symbol found in almost every civilisation and religion across the globe, and the most fundamental but misunderstood form of life on our planet.

The Botanical Mind Online has been developed in response to the COVID-19 crisis and the closure of Camden Art Centre’s galleries due to the pandemic. The Botanical Mind: Art, Mysticism and The Cosmic Tree was originally conceived as a trans-generational group exhibition, bringing together surrealist, modernist and contemporary works alongside historical and ethnographic artefacts, textiles and manuscripts spanning more than 500 years. This complimentary online programme of new artist commissions, podcasts, films, texts, images and audio, expands on and enriches the ideas and issues informing the show.

The Botanical Mind Podcast Series is produced by Alannah Chance and programmed by Matt Williams.

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