Lately I'm reading about the work of Mierle Ladderman Ukeles. I have been inspired by her Maintenance Manifesto and Flow City. When I think of the bags in the trees I am conflicted. Is my idea to remove them because they are bad for the environment or is it because I enjoy my relationship with them the sense of discovery as I notice. Hey look! "bagintree".
Everyday I drive home from work and I see the bags they become visible. I start to see them as friends along my route and when a new one appears I notice. This activity of marking time and my journey is very comforting.
Then I know the reality of them, they break down into more and more toxic substances as they get smaller and smaller poisoning the ground as apposed to something like a nurse tree that returns nutriants to the ground and brings forth new life.
Ukeles talks in her Flow City proposal about our relationship with the earth. Earth as virgin, the untouched landscape of the romantic waiting for the swashbuckling hero to arrive on the scene, earth as mother the giver of life the always forgiving and loving, and earth as whore something to be exploited and used for our pleasure. All of Ukeles work at Freshkills landfill is to banish these anthropomorphizing visions that have become exploitations
So here is my own struggle: Am I making more commodity for consumption? Am I simply responding to my environment from a holier than thou perspective? Or am I engaged in a maintenance project of change?
For now I'm looking into maintenance.