1. From with­in the land­scape view every­thing seems to flow into indi­vid­u­al­i­ty, each organ­ism, each moment, cre­at­ed from the first time and flour­ish­ing. Instead, start only with the over­whelm­ing­ly ready­made char­ac­ter of what we expe­ri­ence. How much of expe­ri­ence is assem­bled from com­mon nouns, and moves accord­ing to com­mon verbs. Things, not pat­terns, repeat, diverg­ing only at length. The earth itself as hid­ing objects, and each object itself in a hid­den form. The seed bank, the promise of reiteration.

When we show chil­dren the world through our rep­re­sen­ta­tions, we do not only out­fit them with a ran­dom and pleas­ant selec­tion of lim­it­less real­i­ty; we teach them the impor­tant char­ac­ters and char­ac­ter­is­tics, to which they may as well lim­it them­selves through­out their lives. 

2. Con­sid­er the store­hous­es of what has already been made. The stocks of objects lying in rest, odd­ly close to use but nev­er being used. How uneasy we are to open a bot­tle in the store and drink it — with­in the store­house, all things should be stopped. 

A tree nurs­ery, that seems at rest when you wan­der through. Only a lit­tle work, tak­ing place in a cor­ner as a lit­tle earth­mover wheels around, and then trees qui­et­ly – what, rest­ing, work­ing as well? If one is want­ed, it is want­ed by virtue of being an undam­aged copy – it is a pre­dictable elm, or cher­ry, or or birch. 

3. The qual­i­ty of a land­scape as always being ready­made, or made of ready­mades. Things with a pre­dictable use and lifes­pan. The enti­tle­ment of being able to know what they will do. But an odd twist – that many such prod­ucts start near­ly pur­pose­less and get worse than pur­pose­less from there; which is to say they start with­out any util­i­ty in of them­selves, and are changed to become not even self-suf­fi­cient. A tulip is only worth­while for the fea­tures it exhibits for a few weeks, and oth­er­wise is of no value. 

4. If you made a land­scape with this in mind, how would you make it? With no great regard for one ele­ment or anoth­er, but instead with an eye to the dis­play, to the aggre­ga­tion. That you have no patience for the becom­ing of any one thing – but must instead array all things for best perusal. That such things would be orga­nized and placed for easy inven­to­ry. That then you could read­i­ly read when they were deplet­ed.

Salk Institute Party
Party at the Salk Institute, by Heinrich Klotz.

(September 2016)