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Plant Allies: Agents and Ambassadors, an essay on Psychedelia and Interspecies Relations

December 7, 2020

Immensely proud to contribute a paper on psychedelics and interspecies relations in a new and incredibly gorgeous book titled Eco Noir: A Companion for Precarious Times. This inspiring project brings together a spectacular collection of essays tackling the concept of interspecies relations and calling for a rapproachment with the non-humans inhabitants of the earth at a time of great planetary crisis. My paper Plant Allies: Agents and Ambassadors follows the history of human-plant-fungi-alien relations within the world of psychedelia, from shamanic exchanges with plant entities, to the inter-species communications established by psychedelic adventurers into alien realms like John C. Lilly, Terence McKenna, and Diane Reed Slattery, leading all the way to the crucial question of cognitive freedom and why these interspecies relations are so important.

I truly appreciated the opportunity to approach the history of psychedelia through the lens of interspecies communications between psychonauts and entities. And I’m doubly blessed that my paper appears alongside a brilliant essay titled Bug Wars: Military-Cinematic Campaigns Against Space Insects by my dear friend Amir Vudka (and a host of other original and accomplished essays). I’m triply blessed that our contributions appear alongside dazzling art works that contemplate on the current acute moment in human-non-human relations (even the very wording of this phrase makes you uncomfortable and demonstrates the shocking anthropocentrism of our thinking about these ‘non-humans’).

This truly exquisite project is the brainchild of Jack Faber and Ana Shraer, published by the Academy of Fine Arts at the University of the Arts Helsinki. You can visit the exhibition and buy the book at or download a copy of the pdf here.

Artwork (from Eco Noir): Alexander Semenov, Sea butterfly 10, 2018, C-print, 90×90 cm

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