For Cultureland, instead of seeing isolation and social distancing as a limit, I plan to my investigate the current conditions of transition, post-quarantine as an opportunity in learning to live as naturecultures. My research for this phase of Assembled Ecologies will focus specifically on establishing a connection to place and restoring our feeling of being at home and belonging in the world, in spite of global uncertainty. These are essential components of building a different frame towards our natureculture relatings within the rural and the urban, specifically in Amsterdam and the Dutch polder region.
The goals of this research are to collect narrative interviews conceived alongside the urban. We never really feel the fullness of earths ongoing because, in the urban, that relation is mediated and preplanned. When I think about assembling and mending or rebuilding relations between culture and nature I see it as an ecology- a systemic set of relations, an entanglement and the beauty of ecologies is that they are filled with ongoing participation of intra-actions between bodies both human and non-human.
as the clouds,
make & unmake
I started crocheting with a course garden twine,
one I am sure my mother will tie the tomatoes with.
I do not have the predetermined shape
I picked up this embodied knowledge
of looping, of knotting
on a metro line in Santiago, Chile.
A stranger showed me how to weave
a knowing only made by doing
A repetitive knotting of matter
I think I once read, we only use a small percent of our brain for the analytical and intellectual stuff.
But in such an act as weaving,
I feel more parts of light light up
I am thinking through form, repetition, movement.
The outcome, undetermined.
This is a document of fieldwork carried out with the polder landscape for a period of six weeks which draw on necessary processes to sustain life on the polder. Through a constellation of various artifacts, I propose framing our landscape as an ongoing, bio-diverse ecosystem that demands participation.
How can we participate in our landscape,
if the very cultural structures we make,
separate us from living processes?
What is happening in the environment?
How does the wind blow? is is hard? soft? still?
What is the temperature?
Why does it vary, extend to such extremes?
What is happening with the chickens?
Does the greenhouse need my help?
What can I give to the garden?
What can I take away?
Who nourishes whom?
Can I help?
Can the landscape help?
My position in its situatedness, is how I come to understand my environment.
Does my searching bring understanding?
Or just more confusion?
What about my own curiosity?
Nature is spontaneous, it keeps surprising me.
Drawing helps me to understand the complexity of the polder, how each living thing is entangled in this life-giving process.
How do I respond to the interlocked processes I am now embedded in?
How can we think differently about process?
What if we participated?
What if we saw the polders as more than just grasslands for agricultral utlity and production?
What if we considered these sites, these polders as ones that demanded our collaboration?
Our making- kin?
Our efforts to become our landscape?
How does the dominant Western Culture frame nature?
In the polder region man, made the landscape.
Through the acts of digging, moving earth, cutting, carving and turning soil, the West covered up the diversity of life sustaining processes
When we utilize the landscape as a resource we let go of our ability to be surprised and mesmerized by our landscape.
How can we reclaim with care?
In my situatedness, I become embedded and entangled in the landscape.
Something catches my attention
To try to understand it, I begin to draw it.
Its complexity surprises me.
I return to my cluster of research questions
How to make space for the unplanned, the surprises the more than human collaborators?
Can I co-exist with what surrounds me in an open way?
What about the planned landscapes- why would one be bothered by the certainty of surprises within a complexity?