Garden of Entanglement
Finalist in 2019 Chaumont-sur-Loire International Garden Festival
With Samantha Gebb, Matt Turlock, & Alberto S. Sanchez
Ah, paradise! The distant tropical island, the desert oasis, the forest clearing. Paradise has always been a place apart, a refuge from the storm. This separation from the messy mundane relies on a border — a wall of water,
trees or stone. But in today’s increasingly borderless world, where is paradise? Climate change threatens the most remote localities. Beings are extended through space and time via technology. The perfect, bounded paradise appears meaningless in the face of contemporary realities.
Nevertheless, the call of paradise still echoes in our hearts! If the classical paradise is an idealized and self-contained place, with immortal, static, and already perfect beings, a borderless paradise offers hybridity and change. Our garden — the Garden of Entanglement — confronts this boundedness.
While we cannot physically pierce the hedges of Chaumont, the spiral radiates beyond the hedges of the garden. Instead of immortality, we see death coexisting with life: birch trees share space with birch trunks and a central
pool consists not of water but of deactivated solar panels. Instead of perfect stability, we find processes of change: living trees become dead trunks and obsolete solar panels are given new life (and will be recycled at the conclusion of the festival).
In this paradise, ideal and real, life and death, nature and technology are intertwined in a convergent spiral. Plants of dark hue entangle with white petaled flowers, and variegated species celebrate the mix. A main path leads through this techno-nature. Along the way, other paths open up and new patterns
manifest: new alliances in a world that appears increasingly Manichaean.
Down with the borders, the static, the immutable! Up with the hybrids, the
changing, the entangled!