Just a thought as I tapped into a conversation at the coffee shop this morning, perhaps a little over caffinated, because they were talking about having a tea party and I just needed to know why. Turns out the two ladies are working with 3rd and 5th graders on an afterschool gardening program. We talked breifly about different garden projects and art garden projects, and how (sadly) a lot of art gardens are more interested in engaging visually instead of engaging community.

And pairing this with my experience yesterday (and also through the tea project) when I was asking strangers for their to do list’s as part of Stephen Kwok’s installation piece at Trouserhouse this Saturday, I thought: there is something about gardens, art, and art gardens which offer you a platform to engage strangers in ways you wouldn’t otherwise. In collecting to do lists, not only were people giving me a very personal set of information (as much or as little as they felt comfortable with) but often they felt their days plans a little more validated because someone – me – was interested in collecting it. There is a lot of freedom that the statement “for an art project” allows you. Art, for the most part, is not something the general public questions, and, at its best, engages people personally and playfully.

I know I’m on a riff right now, but stay with me: with the understanding that any kind of vegetation is good for the enviroment (and yes, in certain circles this logic is questionable) gardens provide a very similar relational space. Almost everyone has a garden or wants one; and almost everyone has a fond memory or story from an experience they’ve had in a garden. People are particularly proud about the work they do creating vegetative space; perhaps because the sheer visual exposure to greenery has amazing psychological and physical benefits but also because very few people can say gardening is bad thing: it is, for the most part, unquestionably virtuous. That said, art gardens should have the greatest potential of all; and hopefully, that is the direction they are shifting to. Anyway, just wanted to posit all that.

I’ll post pictures as soon as I can of all the gardens I’ve been visiting. A computer of my own is still not exactly feasible, so the uploading has been a bit of a hassle. Hopefully I’ll find a way to resolve that soon.

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