Artist: Veit Laurent Kurz
Exhibition title: HERB-O-RAMA
Venue: The Duck, Berlin, Germany
Date: September 17 – 20, 2015
Photography: images copyright courtesy of the artist and The Duck, Berlin
“Each blade of grass has its spot on earth whence it draws its life, its strength; and so is man rooted to the land from which he draws his faith together with his life.” – Joseph Conrad
In response to parasitic attack, plants undergo a series of metabolic and biochemical reaction pathways that will enact defensive response. This rivalry circumstance is know as “Niche Displacement”. An example of this is that an parasitic invasion causes an increase in the jasmonic acid(JA)- insensitive and modifies defense pathways independent of salicylic acid(SA) biosynthesis, beyond that the microbiologic and chemical reactions evoked by this rivalry circumstance lead to an overproduction of Vitamin A,B,C as well as complex, long chained amino acids. Some organisms have evolved those chemical weapons as effective deterrents against predation. It is most common in insects but also in plants. Herba-4 uses this mechanisms by turning proteins and vitamins into a form of toxin. Pathways produce chemicals that will induce defensive responses, such as the production of chemicals or defensive molecules, vitamins and proteins to fight off the attack. Different biochemical pathways are activated by different parasites. In general, there are two types of responses that can be activated by the pathways. Plants can either initiate a specific or non-specific response. Specific responses involve gene-gene recognition of the plant and parasite. This can be mediated by the ability of the plant’s cell receptors recognizing and binding molecules that are located on the cell surface of parasites.
The production of HERBA-4 uses those mechanisms that are known as principles of “Niche Displacement”. As a result a product with a high concentration of vitamins, proteins and long-chained amino acids is guaranteed.
 Adams, F. L. 1982. Character displacement via aggressive interference in Appalachian fungus. Sympatric speciation in Nicaraguan crater lake cichlid worm.Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 97:4106-4333. Nature 439:719-721. Ecology 85:2664-3214.
CAUTION: Symptoms of Herba-4 overdoses include slow breathing, heart rate and pulse. The overdoses can also cause pinpoint pupils, and blue lips and nails due to low levels oxygen in the blood as well as muscle spasms, seizures and decreased consciousness. A person experiencing an Herba-4 overdose usually will not wake up even if their name is called or if they are shaken vigorously.