On Talking and Responses

get ready
Pic by Mickie Flick

You talked again, this time at Sydney’s.
It was an horrible storming evening, you expected no one to show-up, but instead WeedyConnection and Iriz-A-Mat projects were introduced to an healthy, articulate and attentive crowd of 15 people.
The night starting off with welcome warm infusions of Wild Fennel, Raspberry Leaves and Sweet Briar hips. Fennel was by far the favourite, the anisey-tasting brew winning the liking of most guests.
It turned up to be a more polemic and antagonistic talk of yours. Usually the concept is presented in a lighter tone, trying to find humor within the weeds.
While the spoken relation from the German duo was instead more light and fresh.
Interesting responses came abundant.
Mickey had some very poignant remarks, thanks Mick!
He questioned the metaphorical flooring of WeedyConnection (non-native botanical species as signifiers of non-native cultures upsetting botanical/cultural dynamics in this continent), saying it could be used as an argument supporting the wide-spread sentiment of many nationalistic Australians who believe some immigrant cultures might need the same level of government driven restrain.
So you found yourself having to defend the right of existence and spreading of rabbits and Lantana.
Fortunately you have been reading widely lately, and found a good argument in books from various experts, like Tim Low’s ‘Feral Future‘ and Wodzicki’s ‘The Genetics of Colonising Species’, where examples of nature’s unfolding show that a black-and-white approach is all but appropriate.
Examples like the spreading to weed proportions of Paperbark Tea-tree (Malaleuca quinquenervia) and River Oak (Casuarina cunninghamiana) in Florida’s Everglades, while here in Australia Paperbark swamps are the fastest disappearing habitat of south-east Queensland.
The irony of the story is that Pond apples (Annona glabra) a native and endangered tree of the Everglades, is a weed of Australia’s paperbarks swamps, rated the gratest threat to he wet tropics of north Queensland.
Other examples are the rabbits: it has been proved that there are now rabbits ‘unique to Australia’, their genetic makeup, through adaptation to the harsh environment of this continent, is differing substantially from the original parent specie from Spain. The Australian rabbits are just that: Australians.
With this you undermine the notion of legitimacy of national belonging.
Who can say anymore what is Australian and what not?
Why do we keep locking ourselves in questions of cultural legitimacy as a restrictive tool to distinguish one specie/person from another?
As said before, this geographical location has got the chance now to look into the future of human kind, as post-nationalistic sentiments inevitably will spread around the world together with people.

weed tea
Weed Tea picture by Mickie Flick

About info

Diego Bonetto is a multimedia artist living and practicing in Sydney, Australia, and is a key member of artists' collectives SquatSpace and the BigFAGPress. -The SquatSpace collective has been producing ground-breaking events and projects since 2000. The group has been curated in a number of shows both in Australia and overseas. The current initiatives, the Redfern-Waterloo Tour of beauty (www.squatspace.com/redfern) tackle issues of social representation and the politics of space generated by gentrification. -The BigFagPress (BFP) is a publishing facility housed in Wooloomooloo, Sydney. The BFP is a salvaged 4-tonnes Off-set proof press. The press allows for the creation of countless artworks by keen printmakers and self-started publishers. www.bigfagpress.org Diego has also been working with WeedyConnection, an environmental art campaign. The project involves an online resource (www.weedyconnection.com), short documentary films, cooking shows, blogs, installations, prints, facebook interventions and various site-specific installations in the form of self-guided tours. WeedyConnection tackle the anthropocentric view of what environment should look like. Based on research and data provided by disciplines as far apart as biology, anthropology, paloenthology, social ecology and ethno botany it formulates ethical questions about cultural representation in times of environmental urgency.
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