Reflecting on material social practices // Megan
I didn’t see that many of the in progress photos as we were working, but I visited the blog and checked them out before sitting down to reflect in writing. I’ve decided that the most brilliant result of our work lives in those photos. In hindsight, I wish we had focused more on the capturing of our presence through a series of still images.
I mentioned before beginning work on Sunday that the most encouraging aspect of the experience for me up until that point was the cultivating of positive energy into the space. Sure, we spent lots of time talking about what we would change and discussing what was already planned to change. Then, we walked away from that line of thinking and set to working in the garden.
I am biased, because I believe that effort is the greatest gift. I think putting one’s energy to a thing is a compliment. I also think it is the best way to feel connected and to learn. For all of those reasons and more, it was good to just work.
Unfortunately, there was a disconnect between the amount of time we spent discussing interests, possibilities and goals vs. the amount of time spent implementing those goals. It would have been more gratifying to work toward something specific (especially since we discussed that idea at length). In reality, our efforts felt more like a culmination of what was easily possible. Here, we have these supplies and this amount of time. We have these restrictions and these skills. Restriction and ease joined forces and our boundaries were set. Everyone seemed strangely accepting of the non-plan plan. It was a docile group. Again, we were just happy to get our hands dirty.
Now, I’ve had a few days to step away. . . and I see these photos. In my mind I see more of them. I want a series of higher quality shots. I respond to the color contrast against the grey block urban landscape. The tape material feels less like plastic in the photos and more like a rupture of the familiar. The long lines of color elicit questions about depth and distance; familiarity and imaginary. The shots of space + color tape + people seem strangely out of time. I imagine more photos of guests invited in for a moment. There is a video of the fluttering tape and a passing train. The train could not be better choreographed. The transient energy, strange ideas and effort enacted.