Ever Present: MOTHER EARTH’S PLANTASIA (Los Angeles)

Date(s) - Sat. Sep. 7, 2019
3:00 pm GMT - 9:00 pm GMT

The Getty Center

Jacqueline Castel, Kier-La Janisse


Note: this is a free, all-day event with multiple activities – you can arrive/depart at anytime!

Celebrate California plant culture with a special program inspired by 1970s Los Angeles and Plantasia, the iconic album made for plants and the people who love them. Worldwide curiosities guide Atlas Obscura and Brooklyn’s Sacred Bones Records teams up with the Getty’s Ever Present series to delve into the plant-centric cultural movement behind Mort Garson’s 1976 cult-classic electronic album Mother Earth’s Plantasia. Join us for a day filled with music, workshops, and presentations that explore the influence of plants on art and culture in Los Angeles.

Originally recorded in Los Angeles, and recently reissued by Sacred Bones, Plantasia includes such songs as “Symphony For A Spider Plant,” and “A Mellow Mood For Maidenhair.” The album’s cult status grew over the years due to its rarity—it was only distributed to customers at the legendary Mother Earth Plant Boutique then located on Melrose Avenue.

The album will be streaming all day for a unique listening experience in the Getty’s Robert Irwin-designed Central Garden, serenading its blooms and bushes with its “warm earth music.” On the courtyard stage, a lineup of electronic experimenters perform their take on music for plants. They include New York-based Robert Aiki Aubrey Lowe, known for composing with plant-based bio data, ambient guitarist Noveller, Florist’s Emily A. Sprague, Lucky Dragons, and Gregg Kowalsky—all performing amid a custom stage installation by Hand & Rose.

Additional programming includes presentations by Lyra Kilston, author of Sunseekers: The Cure of California, on L.A.’s early vegetarian evangelists, and film writer/Miskatonic founder Kier-La Janisse on the preoccupation with plant life in 1970’s horror films (note this is a 20min presentation, a teaser to the Miskatonic class Sept 12). Pioneering synthesizer company Moog, creators of the modular instrument Mort Garson used to compose Plantasia, will install two self-driven interactive synthesizer workstations where visitors can experiment with electronic music. Also on hand: legendary Los Angeles green thumb Mickey Hargitay, Jr. (yes, the son of the Crimson Executioner himself!) of Mickey Hargitay Plants hosts succulent care and macramé workshops, artist and Miskatonic NYC co-director Jacqueline Castel demonstrates “Kirlian,” or plant-aura photography, garden-inspired cocktails, and more.


This event is held in conjunction with several city-wide events celebrating Sacred Bones Records’ re-release of Mort Garson’s classic 1976 electronic concept album, Mother Earth’s Plantasia. Other events in this series include Atlas Obscura’s Plantasia listening party at the UCLA Botanical Gardens on August 10 + 11 (https://www.atlasobscura.com/events/plantasia-at-ucla-botanical-garden-aug-2019), UCLA Film & Television Archive’s screening of The Kirlian Witness (1979) at the The Velaslavasay Panorama Theatre and Gardens on August 25 (https://www.panoramaonview.org/) and Miskatonic LA’s Sept 12 class Murder Season: Crime-Solving Plants and Other Vegetal Horrors.