3:30pm: Yesterday arvo I met Lynda from Public Assembly (she’s here again today). I don’t really understand how but she’s doing her PhD in a year! She’s ~6 months in. Here’s her portable office/study/interventionist van parked in Testing Grounds.
I can’t really explain it properly but she’s developing a set of cards like the Oblique Strategies set that Peter Schmidt and Brian Eno did in 1975 which is “a suggestion of a course of action or thinking to assist in creative situations” (got that quote from the ‘enoshop’ online. Enoshop! Who knew?!) Lynda’s cards are exploring the possibilities of disrupting the highly strict and structured bureaucratic environment.
She has lots of arts academic language/theory/vocab. She suggested my not being able to map out the whole site’s-worth of vegetation in the available time could be a specific limitation to my project – part of the investigation. I think she’s right, but I also think it’s way too late to incorporate it that way now, on day 11!
Here’s a list of growth form classification I’ve simplified from the Australian National Herbarium’s version.
- Tree or shrub: A woody-stemmed plant.
- Herb: No woody tissue present.
- Fern: Any pteridophyte.
- Vine or Liana: A climber rooted in the ground.
- Grass, Sedge, Rush or Graminoid.
- Arborescents: e.g. bamboo.
- Rosette tree: Unbranched stem with crown of leaves, e.g. palms, cycads, Xanthorrhoea, tree ferns.
- Rosette shrub: Plant with crown of leaves directly from soil e.g. Dianella.
- Stem-succulent shrub: e.g. Sarcostemma, Opuntia and some Euphorbia.
Is it too many? I don’t think there’re any ferns onsite so it might be 8. There’s definitely some of all the others. I’m going to use it to do some of the remaining veg mapping similar to the coloured example I drew for yesterday’s blog for this site, only I’m going to do a profile map this time – looking at vertical layers as though it’s 2D. I’ll go draw/map some and see how it goes.
5pm: Lynda just came over to say bye. She looked at my “new approach” and used all these great words. I said it was a profile but she said it’s a cross section. She said my process is really architectural. She’s really into site intervention stuff and likes how I’m using Testing Grounds’ pre-existing architectural and map divisions and even using their actual notepad of grid paper to draw it all up on. I don’t know how or if site intervention differs from making a site-specific work, but yeah. It’s nice to hear what someone else observes and draws together from the threads I’m using. Oh, and then she said she kinda wants me to do diagonals and strangely angled cross-sections and go, “f**k that” to the grid squares. : )
She agrees with me how aesthetically satisfying the species catalogue is (all the plant samples I’ve been collating), and the shame of not completing it. It’s really disappointing but I do think it’s a side-track to the musical outcome, if I’ve accepted that I’m not actually going to use anything based on it to create the scores of the remaining veg. onsite. MAYBE there’s some other musical outcome I can create directly from the catalogue. We’ll see.
6:40pm: Ok I mapped the vegetation from the gate by the pianos up to the corner gate. That’s half of all the rest; can’t really measure it by square metres anymore since it’s a 2D sort-of view. It was so much easier even though still a bit hard. Here’s what it looks like.
There’s 6 growth types in here – there’s no 3 (fern), 7 (palm), or 6 (bamboo).
I found a beautiful orchid flowering in a pot – so it’s not in my mapping music, but you get a photo:
8pm: So, tomorrow I’ll map the last long strip of vegetation along the fence starting by my studio using this new profile-view growth form classification. I’ll do a better-looking version of all the maps; code the circle garden beds with the species codes from the catalogue; and colour code the 2 long strip profiles. Then I’ll have Saturday, and Sunday morning until I bump out, to start to figure out how to give these things sound!
There aren’t any comments yet with ideas about that – bring it on! I want to hear your ideas. You don’t have to be a composer or musical or anything in particular. Just see where I’m up to and where I’m trying to get, and let me know if you can envisage any bridges I can build to connect them.