project synopsis & site map

bosque section - presqueperdu Gordon Brent Brochu-Ingram (small)

The 2014 – 2016 studies, designs and interventions that comprise À la recherche de certaines récoltes presque perdu: Decolonising permaculture: The greatest adversity comes from forgetting are in response to Utopiana’s call for the thematic residency, La Bête et l’adversité. We explore one ‘beast’ in nature: human memory and the ways that biology, culture and our individual developments mediate what we know of landscapes and how we interact and sometimes transform public spaces. In this context, we explore divergent experiences of the postcolonial world: the Geneva region that was not colonized and has had an uneven relationship with the imperial and modernist projects and the still decolonising Salish Sea region of the South Coast of Pacific Canada and adjacent Puget Sound in the United States of America.

indefinite decolonial matrix - presqueperdu - Gordon Brent Brochu-Ingram

Within these landscapes, we explore and imagine reinserting dwindling populations of wild and traditional tree crops, in the gene pools of

apple and pear,

plum and cherry,

raspberry and blackberry, and

blueberry and cranberry.

montage decolonial

Tree fruit in this project also becomes a focus for exploring ecological and cultural legacies and ‘gifts’ within ecosystems with renewed interest in philosophies of gratitude so central to indigenous cultures in the Western Hemisphere. The divergent indigenous cultures of these gene pools, that span both the Geneva and the Vancouver-Seattle regions across Europe, Asia, and north-western North America are reconnoitered. In this way, we critique and begin to decolonise popular and sometimes trite notions of ‘permaculture’, a set of principles and practices for diverse and more sustainable agro-ecosystems by re-centring the roles of traditional knowledge and learning from and respecting local gene pools (and associated human populations).

timeline - presqueperdu Gordon Brent Brochu-Ingram (small)

Initiating our investigations of forgetting, memory and remembrance as an often irascible beast within nature (and human lives), the contributions of Proust, and in particular his now waning modernist notions of the individual, landscape, and desire codified in À la recherche de certaines récoltes presque perdu comprise a key source for understanding the legacies of the colonial projects within Europe and in margins such as Pacific Canada. In understanding this broader loss of memory and ecosystem under modernism and individuals, we construct another aspect of the emerging movement of decolonial aesthetic specifically departing from and ‘rifting’ with Proustian nostalgia. A century ago, Proust’s modernist aesthetics largely obscured labour, ecology, and political economy from experiences of landscapes, agriculture, and indigenous and traditional communities. Today, contemporary aesthetics are back to more fully appreciating cultural legacies in nature as well as the crucial role of traditional knowledge and communities and material relationships more generally.

trellis - presqueperdu Gordon Brent Brochu-Ingram (small)

Our endgame, in À la recherche de certaines récoltes presque perdu: Decolonising permaculture: The greatest adversity comes from forgetting, is to propose and begin to demonstrate some interventions in public space that re-establish small groves of these often declining tree crops. As beneficiaries of the tree planting legacies of artists Joseph Beuys and Alan Sonfist, we argue that agriculture and horticulture embody practices central to the collaborative and community-based impulses in contemporary art. In this work, we are also strongly influenced by the relational aesthetics proposed over a decade ago, that are more concerned with social learning than production of static art objects, and more recent forms of radical materialism centred on cultural cognition of threats to the biosphere and human life support and that in turn challenge to intensifying social inequities.

2015 Oct 14 site planning Alex - Gordon Brent Brochu-Ingram (small)

Just as important as generating a beneficial ecological impact through nurturing traditional local gene pools, habitats and communities, we make ‘installations’ and archives with what we can find from recycled paper and ink to digital photographs, videos and text made with old computers and mobile telephones and reworked versions of software and apps. So in a time of new forms of impoverishment for artists, our approach is aggressive in the mixing of discarded and repurposed media taking inspiration from the minimalism and disregard for polish of the Arte Povera movement of Italy in the 1970s.

fruit agriculture culture

This site only holds the work of Gordon Brent Brochu-Ingram. Collaborative work completed in this project is posted at www.castlegrunenfelderingram.space/perdu.

permaculture impermanent culture

In using this site, the categories listed on the left, seen after further scrolling, link to particular aspects of project development and specific works. Each of these categories represents a longer-term project that we hope to explore more fully in coming years.

Gordon Brent Brochu-Ingram of castle grünenfelder ingram

decolonial public art

Canada Council logo

A portion of the total travel costs of Gordon Brent Brochu-Ingram has been paid by the Canada Council for the Arts.

Canada Council logo

The bulk of support to complete this work is being provided by the Utopiana artist centre of Geneva which is supported by an array of local and regional agencies and organizations.

utopiana demolition Gordon Brent Brochu-Ingram

2015 Sept urban bosques - Gordon Brent Brochu-Ingram (small)

project bibliography: 1. plants | landscapes | memory | forgetting | remembering | landscapes

A 2014 – 2018 collaboration of castle grünenfelder ingram

À la recherche de certaines récoltes presque perdu: Decolonising permaculture: The greatest adversity comes from forgetting

 

2016 August 12 Pacific crabapple (grunenfelder & ingram) IMG_0059

Pacific crabapple, Malus fusca, Burgoyne Bay, Salt Spring Island 2016 August 12 photograph by Alex Grünenfelder & Gordon Brent Brochu-Ingram

bibliography heading

  1. plants | landscapes | memory | forgetting | remembering | landscapes

compiled project bibliography: 2017 February 20 bibliography À la recherche de certaines récoltes presque perdu

 

Anderson, E. N., Deborah Pearsall, Eugene Hunn and Nancy Turner. (editors). 2011. Ethnobiology. Hoboken New Jersey: Wiley – Blackwell.

Dorrian, Mark and Gillian Rose (eds.) 2003. Deterritorializations. London: Black Dog Publishing.

Groh, Jennifer M. 2014 Making Space: How the Brain Knows Where Things Are. Cambridge, Massachusetts: Harvard University Press.

Gussow, Mel. 1995. Into Arcadia With Simon Schama. New York Times (June 5, 1995).

Hajjar, Reem and Toby Hodgkin. 2007. The use of wild relatives in crop improvement: A survey of developments over the last 20 years. Euphytica 156: 1 – 13.

Hoskins, William George. 1955. The Making of the English Landscape. London: Hodder and Stoughton.

Ingram, Gordon Brent 1997. Marginality and the landscapes of erotic alien( n)ations. in Queers in Space: Communities | Public Places | Sites of Resistance. Ingram, G. B., A.-M. Bouthillette and Y. Retter (eds.). Seattle: Bay Press. 27 – 52.

Jackson, John Brinckerhoff. 1980. Necessity of Ruins. Amherst, Massachusetts: University of Massachusetts Press.

Jackson, John Brinckerhoff. 1984. Discovering the Vernacular Landscape. New Haven, Connecticut: Yale University Press.

Jacques, David. 1995. The Rise of Cultural Landscapes. International Journal of Heritage Studies 1-2: 91 – 101.

karenarchey. 2015. Jimmie Durham documenta13 work destroyed in Kassel. conversations e-flux (July 2015).

Kennedy, David O. 2014. Plants and the Human Brain. Oxford UK: Oxford University Press.

Mancuso, Stefano and Alessandra Viola. 2015. Brilliant Green: the Surprising History and Science of Plant Intelligence. Washington DC: Island Press.

Martin, Gary J. 1995. Ethnobotany: A Methods Manual. London: Chapman and Hall.

Meinig, D. W. (ed.). 1979. The Interpretation of Ordinary Landscapes: Geographical Essays. London: Oxford University Press.

Mitchell, W. J. T. 1994 (2002). Landscape and Power. Chicago: Chicago University Press.

Nabhan, Gary P. 1997. Cultures of Habitat: One Nature, Culture and Story. Washington DC: Counterpoint.

Nabhan, Gary. 2013. Growing Food in a Hotter, Drier Land: Lessons from Desert Farmers on Adapting to Climate Uncertainty. White River Junction, Vermont: Chelsea Green Publishing.

Natcher, D.C. and C.G. Hickey. 2003. Putting the community back into community-based resource management: A criteria and indicators approach to sustainability. Human Organization 61 (4): 350 – 363.

Nazarea, Virginia D. (editor). 1999. Ethnoecology: Situated Knowledge / Located Lives. Tuscon, Arizona: University of Arizona Press.

Pollan, Michael. 2002. “Cannabis, The Importance of Forgetting, and the Botany of Desire”. Lecture as the 2002-2003 Avenali Chair in the Humanities at the Townsend Center for the Humanities, University of California, Berkeley.  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S7QA7Ae1ENA

Ponte, Alessandra. 2014. The Map and the Territory. in The House of Light and Entropy. London: Architectural Association. pages 169–221.

Proust, Marcel. 1913 – 1927 (2002). In Search of Lost Time (7 volumes) translated by Lydia Davis, Mark Treharne, James Grieve, John Sturrock, Carol Clark, Peter Collier, & Ian Patterson. London: Allen Lane.

Proust, Marcel. 2013. Swann’s Way: In Search of Lost Time Volume 1. (Translated and annotated by William C. Carter). New Haven: Yale University Press.

Robertson, I. & Richards P. 2003. Studying Cultural Landscapes. Robertson I. & P. Richards (editors). London: Arnold.

Sauer, Carl Ortwin. 1963. Land and Life: A Selection from the Writings. Leighly, John. (ed.). Berkeley, California: University of California Press.

Schama, Simon. 1995. Landscape and Memory. London: Harper Collins.

Spirn, Anne Whiston. 2000. The Language of Landscape. New Haven, Connecticut: Yale University Press.

Supreme Court of Canada. 2014. Decision: Tsilhqot’in Nation v. British Columbia. [Date: 2014-06-26 / Neutral citation 2014 SCC 44 / Report [2014] 2 SCR 256 Case number 34986]. Ottawa: Supreme Court of Canada. https://scc-csc.lexum.com/scc-csc/scc-csc/en/item/14246/index.do

Thompson,Nato. 2015. Experimental Geography: Radical Approaches to Landscape, Cartography, and Urbanism. New York: Independent Curators International / Melville House.

Wikipedia. 2015. Involuntary memory. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Involuntary_memory

Wikipedia. 2015. Memory in ‘In Search of Lost Time’. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/In_Search_of_Lost_Time

project bibliography 4. radical materialism: relational aesthetics & after

A 2014 – 2018 collaboration of castle grünenfelder ingram

À la recherche de certaines récoltes presque perdu: Decolonising permaculture: The greatest adversity comes from forgetting

castle & ingram 2014 crabapple 2010 #1bibliography heading

 

compiled project bibliographies: 2017 February 20 bibliography À la recherche de certaines récoltes presque perdu

 

  1. radical materialism: relational aesthetics & after

 

Artcyclopedia. 2015. Artists by Movement: Arte Povera – Italy, 1960s to 1970s. http://www.artcyclopedia.com/history/arte-povera.html

Bateson, Gregory. 1972. Steps To An Ecology Of Mind: Collected Essays In Anthropology, Psychiatry, Evolution, and Epistemology. London: Jason Aronson.  http://www.edtechpost.ca/readings/Gregory%20Bateson%20-%20Ecology%20of%20Mind.pdf

Bennett, Jane. 2010. Vibrant Matter: A Political Ecology of Things. Chapel Hill, North Carolina: Duke University Press.

Bennet, Jane. 2011. “Artistry and Agency in a World of Vibrant Matter” September 27, 2011 lecture hosted by the Vera List Center for Art and Politics, New School, New York City. https://youtu.be/q607Ni23QjA

Boscagli, Maurizia. 2014. Stuff Theory: Everyday Objects, Radical Materialism. New York: Bloomsbury Academic.

Celant, Germano. 2011 Arte Povera: Histories and Protagonists. Milan: Electa.

Celant, Germano, Tommaso Trini, Jean-Christophe Amman, Harald Szeemann and Ida Gianelli. 2001. Arte Povera. Milan: Charta.

Christov-Bakargiev, Carolyn. 2005. Arte Povera. London: Phaidon.

Cole, Andrew. 2015. Those Obscure Objects of Desire: The Uses And Abuses of Object-Oriented Ontology And Speculative Realism. Artforum (Summer 2015): 318 – 323. https://artforum.com/inprint/issue=201506&id=52280

Dawson, Ashley. 2015. Radical Materialism Introduction. Social Text: Periscope (2015 March 8 Radical Materialism issue). http://socialtextjournal.org/periscope_article/radical-materialism-introduction/

Flood, Richard, and Morris, Frances. 2001. Zero to infinity: Arte povera 1962-1972. London: Tate Publishing.

Harman, Graham. 2011. The Quadruple Object. Alresford UK: Zero Books.

Harman, Graham. 2013. “Greenberg, Heidegger, McLuhan, and the Arts.” MA in Critical Theory and Creative Research program, European Graduate School, Geneva, Switzerland. November 28, 2013. https://youtu.be/hK-5XOwraQo

Ingram, Gordon Brent. 2012. From queer spaces to queerer ecologies: Recasting Gregory Bateson’s Steps to an Ecology of Mind to further mobilise & anticipate historically marginal stakeholders in environmental planning for community development. European Journal of Ecopsychology 3 (Queer Ecologies issue): 53 – 80. eje.wyrdwise.com/ojs/index.php/EJE/article/download/35/19

Lippard, Lucy. 1997. Six Years: The Dematerializaton of the Art Object from 1966 to 1972. Berkeley, California: University of California Press.

Lista, Giovanni. 2006. L’Arte Povera. Milano: Cinq Continents Éditions.

Lumley, Robert. 2004. Arte Povera. London: Tate Publishing.

Lumley, Robert 2004. Movements in Modern Art, Povera Arte. London: Tate.

project bibliography: 5. the arts of contesting & re-creating urban space

A 2014 – 2016  collaboration of castle grünenfelder ingram

À la recherche de certaines récoltes presque perdu: Decolonising permaculture: The greatest adversity comes from forgetting

2014 Utopiana mosaic 6 castle&ingram

bibliography heading

compiled project bibliography:  2017 February 20 bibliography À la recherche de certaines récoltes presque perdu

  1. the arts of contesting & re-creating urban space

Beuys, Joseph. 1982a. 7000 Eichen – Stadtverwaldung statt Stadtverwaltung / 7000 Oaks – City Forestation Instead of City Administration. Kassel, Hesse: documenta 7.

Beuys, Joseph. 1982b. Richard Demarco, “Conversations with Artists.” Studio International 195 (996) (September 1982): 46.

Bishop, Claire. 2004. Antagonism and Relational Aesthetics. October 110 (2004): 51 – 80. http://www.teamgal.com/production/1701/SS04October.pdf

Bourriaud, Nicolas. 1998. Relational Aesthetics. Dijon, France: Les presses du réel.

de Certeau, Michel. 1984. The Practice of Everyday Life. (Steven Rendall trans.) Berkeley: University of California Press.

Deutsche, Rosalyn. 1996. Evictions: Art and Spatial Politics. London: MIT Press.

Ingram, Gordon Brent 1997. Marginality and the landscapes of erotic alien( n)ations. in Queers in Space: Communities | Public Places | Sites of Resistance. Ingram, G. B., A.-M. Bouthillette and Y. Retter (eds.). Seattle: Bay Press. 27 – 52.

Ingram, Gordon Brent. 2013. The New Cubism: Alex Grünenfelder on Cube Living in Vancouver. designs for The Terminal City. http://gordonbrentingram.ca/theterminalcity/?p=894.

Kwon, Miwon. 2004. One Place after Another: Site-Specific Art and Locational Identity. Cambridge UK: The MIT Press.

Lefebvre, Henri. (1973) 2014. Toward an Architecture of Enjoyment. (L. Stanek editor & R. Bononno translator). Minneapolis, Minnesota: University of Minnesota Press.

Lefebvre, Henri. (1974) 1991. The Production of Space. (Donald Nicholson-Smith translation). Oxford: Basil Blackwell.

Lippard, Lucy. 1997. Six Years: The Dematerialization of the Art Object from 1966 to 1972. Berkeley, California: University of California Press.

Lydon, Mike, Anthony Garcia, and Andres Duany. 2015. Tactical Urbanism: Short-term Action for Long-term Change. Washington DC: Island Press.

Miessen, Markus. 2010. The Nightmare of Participation: Crossbench Practice as a Mode of Criticality. Berlin: Sternberg Press and Archive Books.

Mouffe, Chantal. 2007. Artistic Activism and Agonistic Spaces. ART & RESEARCH: A JOURNAL OF IDEAS, CONTEXTS AND METHODS 1 (2).

Rendell, Jane. 2006. Art and Architecture: A Place Between. London: I.B. Tauris. http://www.janerendell.co.uk/books/art-architecture-a-place-between

Rosler, Martha. 2010-11. Culture Class: Art, Creativity, Urbanism. e-flux 21 / 23 / 25.  http://www.e-flux.com/journal/culture-class-art-creativity-urbanism-part-i/    http://www.e-flux.com/journal/culture-class-art-creativity-urbanism-part-ii/   http://www.e-flux.com/journal/culture-class-art-creativity-urbanism-part-iii/

Rosler, Martha. 2012. The Artistic Mode of Revolution: From Gentrification to Occupation. e-flux Journal 33 (March 2012).

Slater, Josephine Berry and Anthony Iles. 2010. No Room to Move: Radical Art And The Regenerate City. London: Mute Publishing.

Squires, Catherine R. 2002. Rethinking the black public sphere: An alternative vocabulary for multiple public spheres. Communication Theory, 12(4) 446-468.

Tavares, Paulo. 2015 Rights of Nature. Social Text: Periscope (2015 March 8 Radical Materialism issue).  http://socialtextjournal.org/periscope_article/rights-of-nature/

The Laboratory of Insurrectionary Imagination. 2009. 13 Attitudes. 9th Experiment: C.R.A.S.H: A post capitalist A to Z. London June 2009. www.labofii.net/docs/13attitudes.pdf

W.A.G.E. 2015. Day 16—W.A.G.E., “Online Digital Artwork and the Status of the ‘Based-In’ Artist’. e-flux 56th Venice Biennale (The Art of Work, May 27, 2015).

 

bibliography: 7. decolonising landart & site-based aesthetic interventions

2014 fragment of Utopiana - Geneve - Rhone study

bibliography heading

compiled project bibliographies: 2017 February 20 bibliography À la recherche de certaines récoltes presque perdu

  1. decolonising landart & site-based aesthetic interventions

Beardsley, John. 2006. Earthworks And Beyond: Contemporary Art In the Landscape. Fourth Edition. New York: Abbeville Press.

Benner, Ron. 2008. Gardens of a Colonial Present / Jardins d’un Present Colonial. London, Ontario: London Museum.

Beuys, Joseph. 1982a. 7000 Eichen – Stadtverwaldung statt Stadtverwaltung / 7000 Oaks – City Forestation Instead of City Administration. Kassel, Hesse: documenta 7.

Beuys, Joseph. 1982b. Richard Demarco, “Conversations with Artists.” Studio International 195 (996) (September 1982): 46.

Bishop, Claire. 2004. Antagonism and Relational Aesthetics. October 110 (2004): 51 – 80. http://www.teamgal.com/production/1701/SS04October.pdf

Bishop, Claire. 2006. The Social Turn: Collaboration and its discontents. Artforum (February 2006): 178 – 183.

Bishop, Claire. 2012. Artificial Hells: Participatory Art and the Politics of Spectatorship. New York: Verso.

Bourriaud, Nicolas. 1998. Relational Aesthetics. Dijon, France: Les presses du réel.

Boetzkes, Amanda. 2010. The Ethics of Earth Art. Minneapolis, Minnesota: University of Minnesota Press

Brown, Andrew. 2014. Art and Ecology. London: Thames and Hudson.

Demos, T. J. 2015. Decolonizing Nature: Making the World Matter. Social Text: Periscope (2015 March 8 Radical Materialism issue). http://socialtextjournal.org/periscope_article/decolonizing-nature-making-the-world-matter/

Kaiser, Philipp and Miwon Kwon (curators). 2013. Ends of the Earth: Land Art to 1974. Museum of Contemporary Art in Los Angeles in collaboration with Haus der Kunst, Munich. http://moca.org/landart/

Garneau, David. 2015. Indigenous Criticism: On Not Walking With Our Sisters. Border Crossings 34(2) (#134): 78 – 82. http://bordercrossingsmag.com/article/indigenous-criticism

Grande, John K. and Edward Lucie-Smith. 2004. Art Nature Dialogues: Interviews with Environmental Artists. Albany, New York: State University of New York Press.

Hawkins, Harriet and Elizabeth Straughan (editors). 2015. Geographical Aesthetics: Imagining Space, Staging Encounters. Farnham Surrey UK: Ashgate.

Ingram, Gordon Brent. 2013. Repopulating contentious territory: Recent strategies for indigenous North-west Coast site-based & public art. FUSE (Toronto) 36(4): 7 – 8.  http://fusemagazine.org/2013/11/36-4ingram &  http://gordonbrentingram.ca/scholarship/wp-content/uploads/2013/10/paper-ingram-2013-repopulating-contentious-territory-decolonial-aesthetics.pdf

Johnson, Ken. 2015. Review: Pierre Huyghe Mixes Stones and Water for Roof Garden at the Met. New York Times (May 12, 2015).

Lailach, Michael. 2007. Land Art. New York: Taschen.

Lauder, Adam. 2015. Glue Pour, 1970: Robert Smithson’s Vancouver sojourn. Canadian Art (Summer 2015): 90 – 94.

Linklater, Duane. 2012. Untitled (A Blueberry Garden for Bard College). 12 blueberry bushes, garden implements, soil, mulch, wood, rope. Variable dimensions. http://www.duanelinklater.com/

Lippard, Lucy. 2014. Undermining: A Wild Ride Through Land Use, Politics and Art in the Changing West. New York: New Press.

Lockward, Alanna, Rolando Vázquez, Teresa María Díaz Nerio, Marina Grzinic, Michelle Eistrup, Tanja Ostojic, Dalida María Benfield, Raúl Moarquech Ferrera Balanquet, Pedro Lasch, Nelson Maldonado Torres, Ovidiu Tichindeleanu, Miguel Rojas Sotelo, and Walter Mignolo. 2011. Decolonial Aesthetics (I) Sunday, May 22nd, 2011. TDI + Transnational Institute. https://transnationaldecolonialinstitute.wordpress.com/decolonial-aesthetics/

Mann, Charles C. 2005. 1491: New Revelations of the Americas Before Columbus. New York: Knopf.

Mbembe, Achille. 2001 On the Postcolony. Berkeley: University of California Press.

Menard, Andrew. 2014. Robert Smithson’s Toxic Tour of Passaic, New Jersey. Journal of American Studies 48(04):1019-1040.

Mignolo, Walter D. 2012. Local Histories / Global Designs: Coloniality, Subaltern Knowledges, and Border Thinking. Princeton, New Jersey: Princeton University Press.

Mignolo, Walter and Rolando Vázquez. 2013. Decolonial AestheSis: Colonial Wounds/Decolonial Healings. Social Text: Periscope (July 15th, 2013). http://socialtextjournal.org/periscope_article/decolonial-aesthesis-colonial-woundsdecolonial-healings/#sthash.rNSW6zUP.pdf

Natural World Museum. 2007. Art in Action: Nature, Creativity, and Our Collective Future. San Rafael, California: Earth Aware Editions

Nisbet, James. 2014. Ecologies, Environments, and Energy Systems in Art of the 1960s and 1970s. Cambridge, Massachusetts: MIT Press.

Scott, Emily Eliza & Kirsten Swenson (editors). 2015. Critical Landscapes: Art, Space, Politics. Berkeley: University of California Press.

Smithson, Robert. 1966 (1996). Frederick Law Olmsted and the Dialectical Landscape. in Robert Smithson: The Collected Writings. Jack Flam (ed.). Berkeley: University of California Press. 157–171.

Thompson, Nato. 2009. Experimental Geography: Radical Approaches to Landscape, Cartography, and Urbanism. Brooklyn, New York: Melville House.

Thompson, Nato (editor). 2012. Living as Form: Socially Engaged Art from 1991-2011. Cambridge, Massachusetts: The MIT Press.

Thompson, Nato. 2015. Seeing Power: Art and Activism in the 21st Century. Brooklyn, New York: Melville House.

Wallace, Ian. 2014. Critic Lucy Lippard on Trading Conceptual Art for Environmental Activism. Artspace (May 1, 2014). http://www.artspace.com/magazine/interviews_features/lucy_lippard_interview

Wallis, Brian. 2010. Land and Environmental Art. London: Phaidon Press.

Weintraub, Linda. 2012. To Life!: Eco Art in Pursuit of a Sustainable Planet. Berkeley, California: University of California Press.

Tavares, Paulo. 2015 Rights of Nature. Social Text: Periscope (2015 March 8 Radical Materialism issue). http://socialtextjournal.org/periscope_article/rights-of-nature/

Tuck, Eave and K. Wayen Yang. 2012. Decolonization is not a metaphor. Decolonization: Indigeneity, Education & Society 1(1): 1 – 40.

Zukin, Sharon. 2010. The Naked City: The Death and Life of Authentic Urban Places. New York: Oxford University Press.

bibliography: 8. site planning as contemporary aesthetic practice

 

2016 August 12 chokecherry by grunenfelder & ingram IMG_0008

chokecherry, Prunus virginiana, above Fulford Harbour, Salt Spring Island 2016 August 12 photograph by Alex Grünenfelder & Gordon Brent Brochu-Ingram

bibliography heading

 

compiled project bibliographies: 2017 February 20 bibliography À la recherche de certaines récoltes presque perdu

 

 

 

  1. site planning

Benedict, Mark A. and Edward T. McMahon 2006. Green Infrastructure: Linking Landscapes and Communities. Washington DC: Island Press.

Debord, Guy. 1994 [1967]. The Society of the Spectacle. (translation by Donald Nicholson-Smith). New York: Zone Books. http://www.cddc.vt.edu/sionline/si/tsots00.html

Gehl, Jan. 1987. Life Between Buildings: Using Public Space. Jo Koch (translator). New York: Van Nostrand Reinhold.

Gehl, Jan and Svarre, B. 2013. How to Study Public Life. Washington, DC: Island Press.

Hirsch, Alison . 2014. City Choreographer: Lawrence Halprin in Urban Renewal America. Minneapolis, Minnesota: University of Minnesota Press.

Lynch, Kevin and Gary Hack. 1984. Site Planning. Cambridge, Massachusetts: MIT Press.

McHarg, Ian L. 1966. Ecological Determinism. in Future Environments of North America. F. Fraser Darling and John P. Milton (eds). Garden City, New York: The Natural History Press. 526 – 538.

McHarg, Ian L. 1969 (1971). Design With Nature. Garden City, New York: Doubleday / The Natural History Press.

Reed, Chris and Nina-Marie Lister (eds.) 2014. Projective Ecologies. Cambridge, Massachusetts: ACTAR, Harvard Graduate School of Design.

Spirn, Anne W. 1985. The Granite Garden: Urban Nature And Human Design. New York: Basic Books.

Thompson, George F. and Frederick R. Steiner (editors). 1997. Ecological Design and Planning. New York: Wiley.

Vogt, Adolf Max. 1998. Le Corbusier, the Noble Savage: Toward an Archaeology of Modernism. (Translated by Radka Donnell). Cambridge, Massachusetts: MIT Press.

Whyte, William H. 1980. The Social Life of Small Urban Spaces. New York: Project for Public Spaces.

bibliography: 9. video, audio & new archives as ‘designs’ for public space

Utopiana mosaic 1 castle&ingram 2014

bibliography heading

complete project bibliographies: 2016 February 18 bibliography À la recherche de certaines récoltes presque perdu

  1. video, audio & new archives as ‘designs’ for public space

Adams, James. 2014. Must-see mischief: The fundamental strangeness of Frenkeland at MoCCA. Globe and Mail (November 28, 2014). http://www.theglobeandmail.com/arts/art-and-architecture/must-see-mischief-the-fundamental-strangeness-of-frenkeland-at-mocca/article21826940/

Balkin, Amy. 2015. A People’s Archive of Sinking and Melting. Social Text: Periscope (2015 March 8 Radical Materialism issue). http://socialtextjournal.org/periscope_article/a-peoples-archive-of-sinking-and-melting-state-as-of-bonn-climate-change-conference-october-2014/

Enwezor, Okwui. 2008. Archive Fever: Uses of the Document in Contemporary Art. Göttingen, Germany: Steidl.

Frenkel, Vera. 2005 *String Games: Improvisations for Inter-City Video, in This Must Be the Place, Inaugural Exhibition. Toronto: Inter/Access New Media Centre.

Gagnon, Jean (ed.). 1994. …from the Transit Bar (Vera Frenkel). Toronto, Ontario: The Power Plant, the National Gallery of Canada.

Guattari, Pierre-Félix. 1995. Chaosmosis: An Ethico-Aesthetic Paradigm. Paul Bains and Julian Pefanis (Translators). Bloomington, Indiana: Indiana University Press. http://autonomousuniversity.org/sites/default/files/Guattari_Production-of-Subjectivity.pdf

Hampson, Sarah. 2005 (2009). Sick of bureaucrats (interview with Vera Frenkel). Globe and Mail (Saturday, Jan. 01, 2005 12:00AM EST Last updated Tuesday, Mar. 17, 2009 2:12PM EDT). http://www.theglobeandmail.com/arts/sick-of-bureaucrats/article973858/

Milroy, Sarah. 2005. Art that’s inside the box (set). [Vera Frenkel]. Globe and Mail (Toronto): August 16, 2005. http://www.theglobeandmail.com/arts/art-thats-inside-the-box-set/article984793

Murphy, Mekado. 2015. Sean Baker Talks ‘Tangerine,’ and Making a Movie With an iPhone. New York Times (July 5, 2015). http://www.nytimes.com/2015/07/06/movies/sean-baker-talks-tangerine-and-making-a-movie-with-an-iphone.html

Schade, Sigrid (editor). 2013. Vera Frenkel (with essays by Dot Tuer, Anne Benichou, Griselda Pollock, Ryszard W. Kluszcynski, John Bentley Mays, Elizabeth Legge, Sylvie Lacerte, and Frank Wagner). Ostfildern, Germany: Hatje Cantz.

Tomic, Milena. 2015. Vera Frenkel: Toronto at Museum of Contemporary Canadian Art. Art in America (March 24, 2015). http://www.artinamericamagazine.com/reviews/vera-frenkel/

Wynne, John. 2015 Anspayaxw. Open Sound installation. Surrey Art Gallery, Surrey, British Columbia.

 

 

 

 

 

attributions

Gordon Brent Brochu-Ingram

The most important collaborative works of castle grünenfelder ingram are posted at the new site, www.castlegrünenfelderingram.space.

The site here represents Brochu-Ingram’s studies and personal works, some of which are developed further in the castle grünenfelder ingram collaborative process with examples of these versions posted at www.castlegrunenfelderingram.space/perdu/.

Unless labelled otherwise, works posted at this site, www.gordonbrentingram.ca/presqueperdu are produced solely by Gordon Brent Brochu-Ingram.

2015 May 8 Camassia quamash Mt Maxwell ER

Camassia quamash just outside of the lower side of the largest of the upper exclosures, Mount Maxwell Ecological Reserve, Salt Spring Island 2015 May 8

initial proposal: À la recherche de certaines récoltes presque perdu: Decolonising permaculture: The greatest adversity comes from forgetting

PDF copy available: castle & ingram 2014 proposal Utopiana Geneva

castle & ingram

Julian Castle

Gordon Brent Brochu-Ingram BFA MSc PhD

side stream environmental design

 

February 12, 2014

Proposal for a transdisciplinary residency from

August through October 2015 at

Utopiana, Geneva for Nature, adversity, etc.

crab-apple-21-6-2004-Belly-Rising-Up-by-Gordon-Brent-Ingram

 

proposal title 

contents

  • synopsis                                                               2
  • introduction                                                        4
  • problem statement                                            5
  • themes                                                                  5
  • theoretical influences                                        6
  • duration of proposed residency                       7
  • artistic product                                                    7
  • media                                                                     8
  • languages                                                              9
  • community engagement                                    9
  • biographies                                                           9
  • internet documentation of

‘side stream’ work by Castle & Ingram               11

  • vitae: Gordon Brent Ingram
  • vitae: Julian Castle

 



proposal title

synopsis

This proposal for a 2015 residency at Utopiana centres on aesthetic responses to both the increasing disappearance of heritage food crops, especially perennials such as tree crops, and the confluence of more expansive notions of ‘decolonisation’ and decolonial aesthetics as played out in contemporary garden interventions as works of contemporary public art.

 

Two different spaces, territories, and kinds of crop disappearance would be explored:

  1. the disappearance of some traditional crops and crop varieties of the Geneva, Vaud, other parts of francophone, ‘Romandy’ Switzerland along with the Pay du Gex and
  2. the traditional food plants of the Salish, the indigenous communities around an area with a similar climate and landform to Geneva, of the Strait of Georgia of Pacific Canada including the cities of Vancouver and Victoria.

 

This residency would focus on field research, semi-structure interviews, and assembling graphic documentation (mainly photographic, video, and in situ work and cultivation in the Utopiana garden) of these disappearing crops, their food uses, various disappearance (‘genetic erosion’) factors, and conservation responses especially,

  1. heritage orchards and gardens,
  2. ‘field gene banks’ often maintained by scientific and corporate bodies, community gardens,
  3. laboratories and in vitro storage,
  4. archives on a particular crop or agricultural community, and
  5. more contemporary forms of aesthetic-based public interventions such as ‘guerrilla gardening’ and related viticulture and tree crop planting, urban design, permaculture, and various collective projects such as the Los Angeles-based ‘Fallen Fruit’.

 

Artistic production for 2015 in Geneva would focus on interrogating, playing with, and diverging from Proustian notions of loss and alternatives to nostalgia as “temps perdu” morphing into “de certaines récoltes presque perdu” The timing of the residency would coincide with the time of year to plant a few perennial trees and bushes in the Utopiana garden in Geneva: in early autumn. The product of this 2015 residence would centre on documentation of a range of individuals and organizations in the Geneva region already concerned about “de certaines récoltes presque perdu” and mashing that imagery with comparable digital material of traditional Salish food plants (many of these species in the same gene pools as those around Geneva) around Vancouver and Victoria. There would be five venues of artistic production offered in Geneva and at La maison at avenue des Eidguenots 21, 1203 Genève:

 

  1. a website similar to a related project on green roofs (www.gordonbrentingram.ca/roof) with postings of text, photographs, video clips, and drawings;

 

  1. an archival component to the web-site that links information on these interventions Utopiana with relevant material and interventions involving the Geneva region and related artistic interventions;

 

  1. organization of an event series of an evening or afternoon every two weeks related to the projects involving the screening of videos and on-site, studio and gardening demonstrations and related performances, events, and talks;

 

  1. proposal and organization of the transfer of such ‘disappearing crops’ (from the Geneva region) into the garden of Utopiana (as per space availability and the interest of the organization) with respective discussions constituting art practices that would be documented and presented as part of production; and

 

  1. a proposed intervention into the public space of Geneva with a series of relatively professional designs (made in subsequent months to the residency), something of a whimsical piece of utopian fantasy, involving re-insertion of some disappearing, local crops with possibilities of the proposal material being exhibited in a gallery or community space in Geneva.

 

camas-spp.-Belly-Rising-Up-24-4-2005-by-Gordon-Brent-Ingram

camas, Camassia spp., Belly-Rising-Up, 24 April, 2005 by Gordon Brent Ingram

This tuberous, onion-like vegetable provides a unique sugar, that is used slowly, and was a staple for the Salish and is often used as a symbol of cultural and dietary renewal. Thousands of hectares of camas were maintained in fields well into the early 20th Century.

 

 

introduction

This proposed residency explores the confluence of,

 

  1. the growing aesthetic movements engaged with, gardens and interventions in gardens as contemporary public art;

 

  1. heritage food crops being displaced from landscapes, fields, and gardens and the wide range of conservation efforts from cultural to scientific (including a full range of organizational formations in the Geneva region from United Nations, NGOs, corporate, local government, grassroots movements, and cultural institutions; and

 

  1. decolonial aesthetics as they play out in Switzerland as a European country that was not a colonial force, but exists within a postcolonial matrix (and that sometimes forgets its highly cosmopolitan position within an only vaguely postcolonial continent).

 

The device that will activate these explorations is insertion and contrasting with the status of traditional Salish food plants of the region around Vancouver and Victoria in Pacific Canada[1]. This mountainous area is on an inland sea is at 49 degrees latitude and has roughly the climate of the Utopiana region at 47 degrees latitude though the weather of Vancouver and Victoria span a wider ranges similar to those of Nantes, Paris, and Geneva. And both regions have become expensive resorts oriented to the wealthy with agricultural production increasingly squeezed by suburbanization, hobby farms and ‘villas’, and rising labour costs. Both regions have a problematic situation around immigration of agricultural labour and retention of knowledge about traditional farming and crops.

 

In contrast to the similarities in climate and agricultural economics, the situation around disappearing food plants is diametrically different with traditional crops in the Geneva region being well-known (and better celebrated) and a raft of traditional Salish crops, increasingly erased since the colonial period in the 19th Century, are the verge of disappearance. And what is particularly ironic about the difference between the two regions is that many of the Salish food plants are ‘Eurasian’ in origin, established in Pacific Canada over the last 5,000 years, are in the same gene pools as those in the Geneva area (and could be planted there). Thus, Switzerland that has seen so much wealth from Amerindian crops, such as chocolate, has effectively no access to Salish onions, root crops, crab-apples, clovers that produce potato-like tubers, and numerous berries. And the plant knowledge around disappearing Geneva crops is in French, which as a language remains viable, whereas many of the Salish dialects are spoken by less then one hundred individuals with much plant knowledge found in the remaining word strings.

 

 

problem statement

While gardens and ‘permaculture’ are increasingly employed as respective sites and practices in contemporary site-based art, aesthetic interventions to remember and present information on disappearing crops (and rural cultures) and scientific responses to ‘genetic erosion’ have been largely neglected by artists. While there is a huge body of discussion on ‘permaculture’ practices in food production, gardens and urban design, critical examinations of disappearing crop knowledge, as culture, has been rarely contemporized. So the underlying response in this proposal for this series on ‘adversity’, that the greatest adversity is in forgetting with remembering the history of a site, community, or crop a kind of contemporary practice, has been poorly explored. Similarly, there are few discussions and critical examinations of the aesthetic practices and

theory around gardens and public art that have acknowledged decolonial aesthetics and

efforts to fully acknowledge local histories, the privileging of certain (agri)cultures and crops, and persisting social inequities.

 

 

themes

In our work at Utopiana, we would be exploring the following themes and aesthetic tropes:

 

  1. the greatest kind of adversity is in forgetting (a recurrent theme in Canadian culture that warrants some contemporization by Canadians outside of Canada);

 

  1. alternatives to nostalgia and notions of “lost time” in the vein of the modernist impulses explored by Proust;

 

  1. insertion of a crop in a community garden as a kind of public art practice;

 

  1. the colonial legacies in horticulture;

 

  1. the flow of Amerindian crops to Europe but the now lack of flow of Salish food crops to Europe because of concerns for more pests and invasive species;

 

  1. the ‘Eurasian’ nature of many of the gene-pools of Salish food plants and their relevance to (and lack of presence in) regions such as around Geneva; and

 

  1. the diverging relevance of decolonial aesthetics for regions such as Geneva and the Strait of Georgia areas of Pacific Canada.

 

Lomatium-nudicaule-21-6-2004-Belly-Rising-Up-by-Gordon-Brent-Ingram

Lomatium nudicaule, below Belly-Rising-Up, Vancouver Island, 21 June, 2004 by Gordon Brent Ingram

This is one of the most medicinal and sacred species for the Salish and the Lomatium genus only occurs in western North America. The leaves are also eaten as a vegetable.

 

 

theoretical influences

The following are the other works in this mixed genre to which we will be referencing in this proposed residency:

 

  1. the recent re-examinations of 1970s landart as with the 2012 survey,

Ends of the Earth: Land Art to 1974, at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Los Angeles[2];

 

  1. various artists over the years who have worked with gardens and planting forests and gardens such as New York-based Alan Sonfist[3] and Canadian site-based artist, Ron Benner’s with his numerous garden works such as his 2008 Gardens of a Colonial Present / Jardins d’un Present Colonial[4];

 

  1. recent works by individuals and collectives such as Los Angeles-based, Fallen Fruit, that plant food crops as part of site-based interventions[5] and Canadian and Cree artist Duane Linklater’s blueberry garden[6]; and

 

a raft of theoretical and practice-related issues raised about so-called ‘permaculture’ gardens in the 2011 discussion of the UK-based collective, The Laboratory of Insurrectionary Imagination with Lars Kwakkenbos and its 2009 pamphlet, 13 Attitudes,[7] along with the 2010 essay on ‘tending’ as an art practice by Kelly and Gibson[8].

 

 

duration of proposed residency

The optimal three month period for this residency is July through September of 2015 so that there would be an opportunity to plant some local food crop perennials in the Utopiana garden in late September as the optimal time to install such perennial, horticultural material in the Geneva area.

 

artistic product

The three months at Utopiana in mid-2015, would allow castle & ingram to complete the following work by December 2015.

 

  1. a web site installation documenting these interventions at Utopiana

We could complete a simple web site similar to a related project on green roofs (www.gordonbrentingram.ca/roof) with postings of text, photographs, video clips, and drawings, probably only relying on simple public software such as WordPress.

 

  1. an archive of digital material and links to garden interventions as contemporary art

There would be an archival component to the web-site that links information on these interventions Utopiana with relevant material and interventions involving the Geneva region and related artistic interventions.

 

  1. a related arts series with at least five live events

We would want to organize of an event series of an evening or afternoon every two weeks related to the projects involving the screening of videos and on-site, studio and gardening demonstrations and related performances, events, and talks — offered in French and English.

 

  1. insertion of some disappearing crops into the Utopiana garden as art practice

We will make modest proposals for the transfer and re-establishment of such ‘disappearing crops’ (from the Geneva region) into the garden of Utopiana (as per space availability and the interest of the organization) with such discussions constituting art practices that would be documented and presented as part of production. The heritage plants from south-western Canada would not be proposed for Geneva without extensive protocol and agreements related to quarantines and acknowledgement of unresolved ownership of Salish crops. This absence in Geneva of the Salish crops, that would thrive in the region (perhaps thrive excessively and problematically) would be the source of reflection and discussion throughout this residence.

 

  1. proposal for an urban design intervention in Geneva involving heritage crops

An intervention into the public space of Geneva would be proposed with a series of relatively professional designs, something of a whimsical piece of utopian fantasy, involving re-insertion of some disappearing, local crops that could be subsequent exhibited in a gallery or community space in Geneva.

 

media

castle & ingram, as part of side stream environmental design, have vitae with numerous examples of work with and exhibiting with the following media:

 

  1. photography and montage (posted on-line with the possibility of a subsequent exhibition);

 

  1. video clips (posted on-line with the possibility of a subsequent exhibition);

 

  1. graphic text and drawings (posted on-line with the possibility of a subsequent exhibition);

 

  1. text (posted on-line with the possibility of a subsequent exhibition); and

 

  1. urban design drawings and designs (posted on-line with the possibility of a subsequent exhibition).

 

 

languages

Both Castle and Ingram are bilingual and Ingram has worked extensively in French including in Geneva and the Pay du Gex.

 

Nearly all of the text will be in English and French with interviews in French or English.

 

Some of the interviews may involve Salish dialects especially SENCOTEN from southern Vancouver Island and Halkomelem the indigenous language of the City of Vancouver and adjacent communities.

 

 

community engagement

For such a brief time in Geneva, over a summer, the community engagement of

castle & ingram would centre on somewhat whimsical and under-stated ‘field research’. The focus would be on making contact with various relevant networks and individuals in and around Geneva and proposing and undertaking site visits and interviews with related photographic and video documentation.

 

The second mode of community engagement would be in organizing at least five evening and afternoon events and workshops as “A la recherche de certaines récoltes presque perdu” `cabarets’ and salons.

 

A third form of community engagement would be in working with the Utopiana organization to possibly consider reinserting more ‘disappearing crops’ into the Utopian garden and in adjacent open space.

 

A fourth form of community engagement would be in a sardonic, parting proposal to introduce some of these crops into a higher profile, public open space in central Geneva. This proposal would be largely conceptual but ideas such as these can leave a mark on the local consciousness morphing into more practical possibilities.

 

Work on genetic erosion and disappearing heritage crops can often be dire and didactic.

Our approaches, in reaching out to individuals and organizations in Geneva, and adjacent

regions would be relatively sardonic.

 

biographies

Castle and Ingram currently contribute to a fifteen year old, Vancouver-based environmental planning and design collaborative, side stream environmental design. The group is often concerned with public art within urban public space and involves over a score of artists and designers roughly half of which are of indigenous North American heritages and

engaged in contemporising regional traditions. Of the side stream collaborative group, only castle & ingram have interest in working in Geneva at this time.

Gordon Brent Brochu-Ingram

Brent is Métis, the large indigenous demographic group in Canada at a half million people, with his family having deep roots in northern British Columbia, the Yukon and northern Quebec. Ingram’s francophone Métis heritage has been relatively cosmopolitan in its links and work spanning the building a infrastructure and work in education institutions. He grew up in a Salish community on Vancouver Island near Victoria, British Columbia where he was exposed daily to indigenous land use, horticulture, and other cultural expression. And his multilingual family spoke Métis and more standard, French dialects along with Chinook a now largely extinct intercultural language. Early on, Brochu-Ingram was also introduced to West Coast Canadian iterations of Fluxus, the Image Bank and General Idea network on the West Coast associated with FILE Magazine, Robert Smithson, and Allan Sekula. He studied environmental design, earned a BFA in Photography at the San Francisco Art Institute focused on new portrayals of landscapes and completed a PhD, on the cusp of landscape architecture and site-based art, at the University of California Berkeley College of Environmental Design. Part of those studies were based in Rome with extensive work in the Geneva region. Ingram has produced over ten group and solo shows including at Royal Institute of British Architecture in London and Storefront Art and Architecture in New York. He is the author of over one hundred publications, including on loss and re-establishment of heritage crops and gardens and has public art and ecological design taught studios at campuses of the University of California, at the University of British Columbia, American University of Sharjah, and George Mason University just outside of Washington DC. Brochu-Ingram has been the recipient of over ten awards and project grants.

Julian Guthrie Castle

Julian Castle, a dual Canadian and UK citizen, is a Vancouver-based archivist, cultural theorist, videographer, photographer, gardener, and public artist with over ten years of experience in the contemporary arts. He studied computer science at Dalhousie University and shifted over to digital media in the 1990s. He has over a decade of professional video camera experience and two decades of achievements around studying and archiving zines, comics and booklets. He is well experienced in semi-structured interviews the kind that are currently in vogue for artistic research. His personal research interests have been in zoomorphic and anthropomorphic comic and other graphic depictions. In the last decade, he has become involved with site-based and environmental art participating in one exhibition, that he largely installed, and working on the field research and proposal phases of a number of projects centred in public space.

 

 

internet documentation of the work of Castle & Ingram

Most of the recent castle & ingram projects, have been part of an environmental design and public art collective, side stream environmental design. This work is documented at a number of Ingram’s web-sites:

 

www.gordonbrentingram.ca with a site map for a series of linked project spaces & archives;

www.gordonbrentingram.ca/photobased documenting most of the exhibited material;

www.gordonbrentingram.ca/studiesdesigns documenting project sites and contexts for the work along with project-based sites including,

www.gordonbrentingram.ca/oscurita on a long-term project on ecologies of image, text, and public open space in Rome and

www.gordonbrentingram.ca/roof on the cultures of green roofs.

Crab-apple, Malus spp., Belly-Rising-Up, Vancouver Island, 24 April, 2005 by Gordon Brent Ingram

This kind of crab-apple was heavily tended and prized by the Salish and is in the same Eurasian gene-pool as apple and pear in Europe. A photograph of its fruit is on the cover page.

[1] Ingram provides an introduction to some of these tradition Salish food plants at, http://gordonbrentingram.ca/fragments/?p=211 that can just best accessed at the beginning of his site, http://gordonbrentingram.ca/fragments/ .

[2] Philipp Kaiser and Miwon Kwon (curators). 2013. Ends of the Earth: Land Art to 1974. Museum of Contemporary Art in Los Angeles in collaboration with Haus der Kunst, Munich. http://moca.org/landart/

 

[3] http://www.alansonfist.com/

 

[4] Ron Benner. 2008. Gardens of a Colonial Present / Jardins d’un Present Colonial. London, Ontario: London Museum.

 

[5] http://fallenfruit.org/ and http://www.cityfarmer.info/2010/01/29/fallen-fruit-an-activist-art-project/

 

[6] http://www.duanelinklater.com/index.php?/a-blueberry-garden-/

 

[7] http://www.permaculture.com.au/articles/social-permaculture/art-activism-and-permaculture.html;

http://labofii.net/docs/13attitudes.pdf; and http://labofii.net/

 

[8] Caleb Kelly & Ross Gibson 2010 Contemporary Art & The Noise of TENDING. Interference: A Journal of Audio Culture. http://www.interferencejournal.com/articles/noise/the-noise-of-tending

 

 

 

Project Inception: In Response to the 2015 Thematic residency at Utopiana, Geneva: La Bête et l’Adversité | The Beast and Adversity | Nature, Adversity etc.

 

utopiana yard (fauvism 2)title of theme 1 of 2

The work for À la recherche de certaines récoltes presque perdu will follow directly after several months of explorations of the same theme with a series of public events in August and September 2015.

 

The following is the initial text of the theme in French followed by a rough translation in English.

(PDF version): La Bête et l’Adversité thematic outline Utopiana 2014 Oct 22

 

B&A_court 22-10-14_Page_1 B&A_court 22-10-14_Page_2

*

rough English language translation of October 2015 Utopiana thematic residency

 

La Bête et l’adversité * The Beast and adversity

Man is the being who, emerging from his distress animal native, moved away from the world to come back as his master. In 1951, Maurice Merleau-Ponty spoke at a conference in Geneva saying,

 

“Man and adversity,” in which an update state of human sciences and politics in the mid 20th century. The notion of adversity it is used to denote all that natural force or unintended consequences of our actions, ” precluding the achievement of harmony, of the agreement with oneself and with others, but what s’ it opposes without an opponent that can be specifically naming.”

 

Adversity is irreducible in the sense , especially that we oppose nature. There can be no question of definitively overcome and establish a mode of existence without resistance where humans completely dominate the elements. Yet such an ambition born in the modern era, where Western man has set a role to be “master and owner of nature ” according to the well-known formula of Descartes. Yet, ***instead of permanently protecting people, this project has created new forms of adversity***. This is manifested very clearly today: technical civilization has a catastrophic horizon that is becoming increasingly apparent , with climate change , soil depletion , poisoning of rivers , destruction of human environments , etc. he seems that the dangers of adversity to increase the extent of the power of civilization. The modern belief in the ability to control the forces of nature has two names : humanism and progress. Or certainties from these two notions are no longer any evidence.

 

As Merleau-Ponty said,

“Progress is not necessary a metaphysical necessity. We can only say that most likely the experience will eventually eliminate the false solutions and emerge deadlocks But at what price, how many detours? Is it even possible in principle that humanity, as a phrase that can not be completed, has failed along the way?”

 

Consider the end of humanity comes to imagine a failure to progress, and thus to recognize the contingency of the principle of human history. Humanism is in principle the concept of placing people at the centre of the world and assuming that human history has a needed sense since directed by reason. A review of these beliefs is necessary today , but is it possible? Is it possible to act under the horizon of the end of humanity and regard humans as living among the living?

 

The project “The Beast and adversity” seeks to recover under adversity modern sense of the archaic adversity. The beast is still alive so “Wild” in our forests, but also the beast in us, that is to say, the internal forces that drive us and take us and remind us that our life is not entirely subject to our will. This adversity, men did not imagine to delete past, but they knew that he had to deal with it. The Beast is the depositary of this wisdom, and it is fruitful to ask what would a life inspired by this wisdom. What would the production of knowledge from the perspective of the Beast? How would articulate our relationships with other animals? And more simply, how would form our perception of the world, if we learn to see as the Beast ? Can we, in fact, accept the presence of the beast without domesticating, but without the drive back out of the limits of the human world so far? Only an “aesthetic paradigm” (Felix Guattari) can provide access to these questions. Our relations with the “wild” world are formed by images and representations.