Garden Things Make Excesses

Garden for punks: a manifesto



2017

Garden things are discrete, different, and unassimilable. In a mosh pit, I am subsumed, not assimilated. I make the energy and the energy makes and takes me. There’s something magical to submitting to it, and something tender in knowing that it’ll dissolve soon. Is that like a garden? Temporary, phony, slightly sublime, a little bit effervescent, a little bit violent, and intimate because the only way to get it is to give up a bit of yourself and take up a bit of something else?
This is the ridiculous sublime. A Hawaiian shirt makes space through discrete clumps of things. Things fold into each other, stitched into an uneasy and unwholesome fabric. They are different, discrete, dis-integrated.
The song is a phenomenon, an agent made in the friction, the frisson, the electric charge between things. Teenagers imitate, and garden things inspire imitation: we imitate a stiff pylon by leaning against it; we imitate a leaning shrub by leaning away from it. And we participate in making excesses: we make heat, friction, moisture, noise; we move and move around other things. As people gather in the spaces of this garden, they change those conditions and are changed by them. And in being open to that change, and understanding our relationship with other things that are also changing, we might momentarily understand ourselves as things; and that can be a radical act of sympathy.


©Ben Barsotti Scott 2019