[-empyre-] Cliff's Notes for "The Pollinator's Dilemma"; Pollinator's Dilemma Resolved

Richard Doyle mobius at psu.edu
Sat Sep 14 12:33:09 EST 2013

Lively Friends,

Enjoying this to and fro. I like Oron's line here:

"The most intimate relationship one can have with an art work is by
digesting, incorporating  it into one's body-  you can't really do it
with a-life... and it is a very different aesthetic experience than
just watching." Oron Catts

In the story I sent along, I played with incorporating our bodies into
a plant body, and the dilemmas, and pleasures, that result. Having
once formed a symbiotic bond myself with a plant ally, ayahuasca,
writing a book as a direct result,  i am exploring the human as an
interface for plants to carry out bioart. I offer here some Cliff's
Notes on the story I circulated earlier.

Cliff's Notes To " A Pollinator's Dilemma"
Themes: What can be made to live or reproduce? Who does it? Is there
an identity to the one who does it? Do bioethicists reproduce anything
but more bioethicists? How does it feel to pollinate? Who feels?

Synopsis: An overly rational academic, the Empyrecist, makes his
living making distinctions. Indeed, he publishes articles and markets
software based on these distinctions, and has a special area of his
habitat distinguished as a garden. This invokes all kinds of
unavoidable symbolic associations with the Garden of Eden in Genesis,
where Adam and Eve ate the fruit from the dualist tree (tree of knowledge
of good and evil), and were struck down by an illness that made them feel
naked - separate from the undivided Oneness. The rest is literally history.
Paper topic: How different is it to eat from the dualist tree  than to
carry out sex acts for a pumpkin?  By Oron
Catt's definition above, is pollination a "different aesthetic
experience than just watching"? Use plenty of analogies, as well as
plenty of  pollen.

The Empyrecist, an expert on distinctions,  such as those between
Anthrax and Pansy, which is apparently a tricky one for humans who
happen to be bioethicists ( see discussion of Garden of Eden) must
nonetheless erode the distinction between himself and the pumpkin
flower if he is to get any pumpkins. If he preserves the distinction,
no pumpkins, b/c they must be pollinated by hand. If he erodes the
distinction, he threatens his economic existence. Plot twist: This
"loss" of distinction between the pollinator and the pumpkin is
intensely pleasurable, putting the very identity of the pollinator
into temporary abeyance. Paper topic: Propose a free market mechanism
for selling the right to pollinate a pumpkin flower for pleasure. Coin
a neologism to describe the practice, e.g. "pumpstitution."

Addendum: After publication, an additional unknown character, probably
avian, entered the scene, and resolved the dilemma, as either way, the
Pollinator gets no pumpkin, just a distinction: the distinction
between a pristine pumpkin and a bird ravaged one. Please see the

Thanks again to Adam for inviting me, and I look forward to following
further developments.

Richard Doyle
Liberal Arts Research Professor
Penn State University
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