We want green, but we want to control it. Mow it, trim it, contain it, cut it, if it doesn’t behave or doesn’t fit our plans, poison it, kill it.
False sanitary neatness, cleanliness …Birds are ok as long as they don’t poop on our car. Chipmunks are cute as long as they don’t wreck our flower beds. The suburbs are an enormous human conceit, an attempted refabrication of Nature into a safe, sterile, unsurprising womb. The moss chair is a form of dialectic concerning urban and suburban cultural blindness. Urbanites and suburbanites have become the non-cognoscenti of the natural planet. Children grow up afraid to splash in creeks and catch frogs, bugs, or play with caterpillars.
In our attempts to control Nature we have exterminated entire species of animals: amphibians, insects, birds, fish, mammals…By reorganizing Nature according to our artificially generated organizational grid, we have actually weakened and poisoned the natural systems that sustain us, the plant transpiration and rain cycles that provide us with the very water and air we depend on. By poisoning icky, crawly critters like insects, we have decimated the insect pollinators which are responsible for 30% of the food we eat (all fruits and vegetables.)
We have killed the beneficial microbes that create healthy soils, leaving us to rely upon better food through chemistry, an unsustainable and poisonous proposition at it’s best. Our rich, vibrant soils, communities of live microorganisms and their products, are dying via our arrogance, eroding away to the bare, infertile, sterile mineral substrates or subsoils.
We are big, so we are important. In ecological terms, however, the smaller something is, the more important it may be. Perhaps we will lose our fisticuffs with the small, icky, insentient microbes that truly run the planet, and the plants that depend upon them.
My next few installations are using live plant material. I will be updating this post with pictures as the three projects I am currently working on are being assembled.
About the author Pandra Williams
After the Suburbs…
southXeast: Contemporary Southeastern Art
Georgia Clay at Terminus