The Garden and the Dump notes

DAY 1
My Garden is a Dump...

Derek Jarman
"If a garden isn't shaggy, forget it."
The Garden Monologue in Tarkovsky's film 'The Sacrifice'
Once, though, I decided that I would tidy things up
In the garden that is.
I wanted to mow the grass
Burn the weeds, prune the trees
On the whole,
I wanted to redo the garden in my own taste
With my own hands
Yes, simply to please my mother.
And for two solid weeks
I went at it with shears and a scythe.
I dug and cut
And sawed
And weeded…

(...)

And looked out the window.
I had prepared myself to enjoy the sight…
Anyway, I looked out the window and saw…
What did I see?
Where had all the beauty gone?
The naturalness of it?
It was so disgusting
All that evidence of violence!

Full text available here.

DAY 2
On catastrophes, ecstasies, and techno-utopias
Sci fi suggestions from panelists Alice Bucknell, Angela YT Chan, and Chen Qiufan
The Ministry of Future – Kim Stanley Robinson

AI2041 – Kai-fu Lee & Chen Qiufan

Borne – Jeff Vandermeer

World SF vol.1 – edited by Lavie Tidhar

Novacene – James Lovelock

Dao de jing – translated by Ken Liu

Oval – Elvia Wilk

SF writers Jeannette Ng, Rivers Solomon and Neon Yang

Art and activism
In response to a question on art and political activism, Angela YT Chan brings our attention to LSFRC 2021 annual conference on Activism and Resistance, with Grace Dillon and Radha d'Souza as keynote speakers. Check out here: http://www.lsfrc.co.uk/category/activism-resistance/


Further suggestions of books and movies on climate change and the Anthropocene
Chen Qiufan: Gaia – a movie about fungi

Angela YT Chan: Neon Yang's The Tensorate Series – on nature, tech, gender non-conforming characters

Mari Rakovic: Core Dump – Francis Koetze. Core Dump is a series of 4 films, Kinshasa (2018), Shenzhen (2019), New York (2019) and Dakar (2018). The project explores the relationship between digital technology, cybernetics, colonialism and the reenchanted notion of a Non-Aligned Humanist Utopia.