Artist opens first plant porn theater

NEW YORK (Reuters Life!) - An American artist has come up with a new form of movie -- pornography for plants featuring uncensored pollination.

The world's first plant porn movie, "Cinema Botanica", produced by conceptual artist Jonathon Keats is screened at the California College of the Arts in late July 2007. REUTERS/Jonathon Keats/Handout

Conceptual artist Jonathon Keats said he came to appreciate the impact of entertainment on non-human audiences while choreographing a ballet for honeybees last year, selectively planting flowers among hives to direct the bees’ moves.

He decided to try to entertain plants, arguing that they were sensitive to light so cinema was “practically made for them.” But rather than let them watch a film he decided to make a film to project on their leaves so they could absorb it.

Keats said he could not judge plants’ mind-set so he decided to settle on the one thing that was bound to be a hit -- sex.

“I knew enough about their reproduction process to make an educated guess at what might titillate them and that was pollination,” Keats told Reuters.

He filmed a six-minute long video of plants getting pollinated then edited his uncensored footage into a gritty black-and-white porn video. The result was what he claims to be the world’s first plant porn movie, “Cinema Botanica.”

“It is very boring but that is part of the essence of pornography, that it is very repetitive,” he said.

During September his film will be projected onto an audience of 60 house plants lined in rows at the 1078 Gallery, an alternative arts space in Chico, California - a venue Keats has dubbed “the world’s first porn theater for house plants.”

The gallery will be open to people to go and watch.

“This project is an initial effort to bring cinema to the plant kingdom but also it gives humans the chance to reflect on themselves by stepping away from everyday experiences and looking back on themselves,” said San Franciso-based Keats.

“The work gets done through the interaction and the conversations that take place around this.”

Keats, 35, who studied philosophy at Amherst College, Massachusetts, has a track record for large-scale thought experiments which he hoped triggers conversations and challenges people’s views.

In 2003 Keats copyrighted his mind and recently he exhibited extraterrestrial abstract artwork. But he is best known for trying to genetically engineer God in a petri dish in collaboration with scientists at the University of California.