The session was led by Ailie Rutherford.
I sat myself down next to a tamer version of this prickly pear cactus*. Carefully touching the cactus, I established exchange by imagining a blue beam of light extending from my palm into the plant. I received a beam back in response, telling the cactus’s vision of the future. It was an intense, sparkling, white response that I imagined, with sharp edges (much like the near-invisible physical spikes that I was now receiving from the thorny plant).
UPDATE: You can now see the actual cactus in these photos.
I drew the elements of this response while maintaining transmission. With prolonged contact, I imagined spheres (much like the physical shape of the cactus segments I suppose), with looping arcs of light (as you might witness in an electrical beam).
When I was done, I then scaled up my interpretation of the cactus’s story onto a long roll of paper, sharing space with the other class participants. My drawing is shown at the centre of the photo at the start of this post. An isolated photo of it is below.
It was interesting to see how defining some boundaries and contact points shaped the creative process. In this case, the plant form itself and the palm-to-plant communication beam were the fixed points, and the future-vision was the scope that helped remove creative boundaries. What kind of imagery would I “receive” if I discussed underwater life with a table by tapping it, expecting vibrations back?
As a vision of the future, I don’t think our collective retellings should worry anyone. The future looks quite vibrant and non-threatening – at least for the potted plants. But can they be trusted?
* Original photo of cactus by Jessica Dungan.