Estado Vegetal

Estado Vegetal

Performance and Plant-Thinking

Edited by Giovanni Aloi

Interdisciplinary essays on Manuela Infante’s award-winning play explore the relationship between critical plant studies and performance art in the Anthropocene

176 Pages, 6 x 9 in



Estado Vegetal

Performance and Plant-Thinking

Series: Art After Nature

Edited by Giovanni Aloi

ISBN: 9781517913083

Publication date: November 7th, 2023

176 Pages

13 black and white illustrations

8 x 5

Interdisciplinary essays on Manuela Infante’s award-winning play explore the relationship between critical plant studies and performance art in the Anthropocene


Since its first staging in 2016, Estado Vegetal, Manuela Infante’s riveting piece of experimental performance art, has expanded philosophical thinking into a fully-fledged artistic inquiry of nonanthropocentric being. Through Infante’s polyvocal monologue, acted with impetus by Marcela Salinas, plants are charged with an agency capable of uprooting culturally grounded conceptions of the world in the face of incommensurable trauma and loss.


This first book dedicated to Infante’s plant-focused performance features eight essays by scholars, poets, and artists whose practices draw from research fields as disparate as new materialism, anthropogenic feminism, queer studies, and speculative realism. Including an interview with Infante, the full playscript, and stills from the performance, Estado Vegetal: Performance and Plant-Thinking reveals the roles that plants in art can play in productively reconfiguring human–nonhuman relations within current anthropogenic perspectives.


Infante’s performance is a perfect case study and reference point for anyone interested in exploring the complexities of plant-thinking through alternative and experimental avenues. Furthermore, this book is at once a critical plant studies primer and an artistic problematization of the philosophical questions that have been central to the latest multidisciplinary discussions on plant-being.


Contributors: Maaike Bleeker, Utrecht U; Lucy Cotter, Portland State U; Prudence Gibson, UNSW Sydney; Michael Marder, U of the Basque Country; Dawn Sanders, U of Gothenburg; Catriona Sandilands, York U; Sibila Sotomayor Van Rysseghem, colectivo LASTESIS; Mandy-Suzanne Wong.

Giovanni Aloi teaches art history, theory, and criticism at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. He is author or editor of many books on the nonhuman and art, including Botanical Speculations: Plants in Contemporary Art;Why Look at Plants? The Botanical Emergence in Contemporary Art; and Lucian Freud Herbarium.


Giovanni Aloi

The Right of the Other: Interpretation in Four Acts

Michael Marder

Thinking in the World: Estado Vegetal as Thought-Apparatus

Maaike Bleeker

Theatre as Thinking, Art as Nonknowledge

Lucy Cotter

Vegetal Mythologies: Potted Plants and Storymaking

Giovanni Aloi

Attending to “Plantness” in Estado Vegetal

Dawn Sanders

“I Can’t Move”: Plants and the Politics of Mobility in Estado Vegetal

Catriona Sandilands and Prudence Gibson

Feminist Structures: Polyphonic Networks

Sibila Sotomayor Van Rysseghem

Soledad: After Estado Vegetal

Mandy-Suzanne Wong

In Conversation

Manuela Infante and Giovanni Aloi

Estado Vegetal

Manuela Infante with Marcela Salinas