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MEMEFEST FRIENDLY COMPETITION 2016: DEADLINE EXTENDED!
Hello comrades, friends,
Great news for all of you who missed the deadline for submission of your...
3 weeks ago
“Certain gardens are described as retreats when they are really attacks.”
Ian Hamilton Finlay cited in George McKay’s Radical Gardening: Politics, Idealism and Rebellion in the Garden.
When I first saw the theme for this year’s Memefest Friendly Competition, my instant response to the word ‘Pleasure’ was gardening. Not very radical might be one’s first response but for me the pleasure of gardening does lie in its radical ‘roots’. Whether it’s planting indigenous Australian plants, growing organic fruit and vegetables, raising chickens and sharing the bounty with neighbours and friends or saving heritage seeds that can be used again and again, my politics underpins and is underpinned by my gardening.
Being able to cultivate a patch of land, as an individual or as part of community, should be a basic human right. And for millennia it was taken for granted. Once the commons began to be foreclosed and the world colonized, people have had to fight for their right to plant and nurture gardens. As large agribusinesses swallow up the land and patent our seeds, the need has grown for a concerted “horticountercultural”  politics – what Peter Lamborn Wilson calls “avant gardening” . As he notes:
Voltaire’s cynical advice in Candide – “Cultivate your own garden” – can no longer be considered simply an amoral bon mot. The world has changed considerably since the Enlightenment. Meanings have shifted. “Cultivate your own garden” sounds today like hot radical rhetoric. Growing a garden has become – at least potentially – an act of resistance. But it’s not just a gesture of refusal. It’s a positive act. It’s praxis. (Lamborn Wilson, 1999, 9-10)
I know that I am privileged. I live in a house with a garden. I can afford to water our plants, feed our chickens and buy seeds. My house stands on the lands of the traditional owners, the Wurundjeri people, and it is through their dispossession that I have come to be here. It is important to acknowledge this.
Gardening is never far away from politics. George McKay’s wonderful book, Radical Gardening: Politics, Idealism and Rebellion in the Garden, traces this relationship, in a mainly British context, by examining the urban allotment movement, the politics of the Garden City, organics, the fascist origins of biodynamics, flower power, peace and memorial gardens, land cooperatives, community gardens and guerrilla gardening.
Gardens don’t just support plant and animal life. They ground our ethics and values. Tending a garden teaches patience. Plants and animals have their own time and we have to adjust to them. Being in the garden helps us to acknowledge the interconnectedness of our lives and changes in the climate, to think about what will and won’t go together and to remember that what ever is taken out must in some way be restored or returned. Our successes and failures are actually life and death issues for the inhabitants of our gardens so we need to be mindful and attentive to their needs before we can meet our own.
As I’m writing this, a Red Wattlebird has landed on the flowering Grevillea outside my window. Before I can take a photo it notices my movement and moves away. It’s a fleeting glimpse but one that recurs each day as the birds come to suckle on the sweet nectar in the winter flowering native bushes. I’m reminded again that our imposed European ‘seasons’ don’t align with those as described by Aboriginal people for tens of thousands of years. In southern Australia, the plants that are indigenous to the area flower in what we have come to call ‘winter’ but was known to the Wurundjeri people as Berrertak Darr – Karr (Cold West Wind), a time for artefact making. [https://vimeo.com/133830628] Another lesson from the garden.
What has gardening taught you? What pleasures does it bring?
Share your transformative gardening story.
 McKay, George, Radical Gardening: Politics, Idealism and Rebellion in the Garden London: Francis Lincoln, 2011, p.7.
 Lamborn Wilson, Peter, “Avantgardening” in Wilson & Weinberg (eds) Avantgardening: Ecological Struggle in the City and the World, New York: Autonomedia, 1999, pp. 7-34.
I am a member of Memefest communication/art/theory Kolektiv, and founder, curator and editor of Memefest Festival of Socially Responsive Communication and Art. Iam also facilitator of Memefest online social network.
I am an Academic at Swinburne University of Technology in Melbourne. I teach and research mostly in the field of communication design. I approach design/communication from a critical interdisciplinary perspective and I investigate theoretical, strategic, conceptual and "hands on" practice.
I enjoy working in many different media including visual and text.
Books I have published :
This was my studio in Slovenia (2004-2012): www.poper.si
You can read some of my texts here:
I have joined the Memfest community becasue i am interested in
I have been here from the very beginning. I am interested in communication/
design for social and environmental change.
I name such communication
socially responsive communication.
Broadly speaking iam interested in visual communication, photography, sociological aspects of communication, design and media.
Iam interested in institutionalised forms of communication like for example communication done by design/communication studios and advertising agencies as well as non institutionalised forms of communication like tactical media or broader aspects of media activism.
In a slightly more academic language:
I am interested in how critical social theory can illuminate the complex processes of production, distribution and reception of public (visual) communication in order to generate public communication as a responsible social, political, economic and cultural practice.
I am particularly interested in relations between concepts of response-ability and communication effectiveness, and the social construction of design and other forms of pubic communication as profession, practice and praxis within academia, the market environments and non-institutionalised communities.
was studiing at Faculty for social sciences University of Ljubljana
PhD in sociology of communication and design
Swinburne University of Technology
Music I like
Flamming Lips, Pixies, The Black Crowes, Demeter, Porno for Pyros, Ry Cooder, Junior Kimbrough, Townes van Zandt, T-model Ford, The Dirty Three, Bonnie Prince Billy, Primus, Faith no More, Bob Dylan, RHCP, Alice Donut, Faith no more, Mark Lanegan, Reigning Sound...;
Books I like
The unbearable lightness of being, A Confederacy of Dunces, Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas,...;
Films I like
The man who wasn't there, No country for old man, Genova, Zidane a 21st century portrait, There will be blood, Il Postino, Festen, Straight Story, Wild at heart, White Ribbon, Dog tooth;
Communication projects I like
I like stuff we did at Poper studio. I like posters from Inkahoots. I like the zine project 23/56 from Kevin. I like many things that were submitted to Memefest, I like stuff from Cactusnetwork, I like the work of Image-shift.
Websites I like
poper.si, memefest.org, rebelart.net, magnumphotos.com, mubi.com, ubu.com, http://twotheories.blogspot.com, brianholmes.wordpress.com, www.lensculture.com, www.burnmagazine.org, www.bagnewsnotes.com, www.cactusnetwork.org.uk, http://www.image-shift.net, www.inkahoots.com.au/
People I like
My dear family and my wonderful friends.