Juan G. Sánchez Martínez
When I dive into Microcosms: A Homage to Sacred Plants of the Americas (Jill Pflugheber & Steven F. White), I discover that this is no longer the time of that false dichotomy between technology and ancestry. On the contrary, we are in the time of the bridge between native and Eurocentric sciences and technologies. In this “stimulating convergence” – as Steven F. White says in his essay “Microcosmic Phytoformalism” – between science, art and ancestral knowledge, this “ecodigital repository” opens rivers of interdisciplinary inquiry on the plant-teachers of Abiayala (the Americas) such as tobacco, kokita, huachuma, peyote, yagecito, chagropanga, wantuk, sage, yopo and cacao, among many others. We only need to sit and contemplate these images for the “confocal perception” – a technology for liberation – to guide us slowly towards a paradox between the micro and the macro: the blue-green designs of the stomata, trichomes and xylem of the plant-teachers correspond to the explosions of light of galaxies and nebulae. And also with the designs that the diverse peoples of Abiayala have represented over the millennia in rock art, weaving, embroidering, body painting, their different ways of being in the world. How is it that through microscopes, lenses and images, Microcosms suggests this bridge of spatio-temporal confluences? Like the plant-teachers themselves, Microcosms invites the viewer to widen the gaze, cleanse it with subtlety and silence and, in this motionless contemplation, remember the weaving of the air.