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This exposition explores the specific materiality that a Witches’ Broom offers for performance-based artworks, referring to ideas on plant-thinking by Michael Marder (2013) and on vibrant matter by Jane Bennett (2010). A witches’ broom, Taphrina betulina, is a fungus that afflicts certain birch trees and causes outgrowths of small twigs. With such a bunch of sticks I performed for camera and live on several occasions during the years 2006-2008 creating variations with only a few elements. Working with various materials – organic matter, digital moving images and recorded speech – and the various combinations of them, including the versions discarded during the process, provides a starting point for looking at the small transformations that produce difference and for proposing variation as one of the basic methods for artistic research.
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