The September Garden: Plots (2020–2021) ○ We Are Publication
Modes of collage have been a central preoccupation for the artists group We Are Publication (WAP). Participants have now set out to explore whether they can cultivate an artwork that is ‘grown’ from several discreet constituents. To this end WAP has drawn on contemporary American poet Rosemarie Waldrop’s recent appellation ‘gap gardening’ to suggest that the placement of words (and plants) generates intermedial zones of transformation and potential. Initially, visual and textual ‘seedlings’ were ‘planted’ in the form of a custom-produced newspaper sent to WAP’s participants. Repeated physical engagement with this newsprint composite prompted further approaches for generating September Garden’s nascent domain. The subsequent ‘plots’ (seen here as Season One) were then replanted, cut back, and otherwise tended to, germinating a series of textual assemblages (Season Two). Tracing and adapting Waldrop’s productive border zones, the collages and textual assemblages constitute WAP’s current findings in this experiment in jointly conducted research and speculative publishing.
Originating at Kingston School of Art’s Contemporary Art Research Centre in 2014, We Are Publication has gone on to become an independent artists’ group that tests innovative forms of contemporary art publishing. In flux and iterative, the group’s configuration as well as its outputs, signal divergent approaches to jointly conducted research. We Are Publication has produced speculative publications including a radio broadcast and vinyl record Diagram of an Hour (Resonance FM, London, 2016, Curved Pressing, 2017); a handmade rug Notes on a Carpet (Five Years, London, Focal Point Gallery’s Unit Twenty-One, Southend-on- Sea and the London Art Book Fair, Whitechapel Gallery 2017–2018); the exhibition We.Are.Cut.Up. (Pratt Institute, New York and Radiophrenia, CCA Glasgow 2019); and t h e H O L D took place at the Stanley Picker Gallery, Kingston, an exhibition accompanied by a series of live events. Recent video work, Placement does not explain, but cultivates a September garden formed part of London’s Camden Arts Centre, Public Knowledge programme in September 2020.
Contributing Authors: Dr Jonathan Allen, Dr Rachel Cattle, Dr Jenna Collins (assembly) Volker Eichelmann, John Hughes, Christian Newby, Andrea Stokes.
practice-based, contemporary art research; collaborative research; divergent forms of knowledge; collage; Rosmarie Waldrop
Boccaccio, Giovanni. The Decameron (Revised). London: Penguin Books, 2003.
Chatto, Beth. Letter To Derek Jarman. London, 1992. Beth Chatto Archive at the Garden Museum.
Haraway, Donna. Staying with the Trouble. Durham: Duke University Press, 2016.
Huysmans, Joris-Karl. Against Nature (A Rebours). London: Penguin, 2003.
Jarman, Derek. Modern Nature. London: Vintage, 1991.
Jarman, Derek, dir. The Garden. 1991.
Latour, Bruno, and Catherine Porter. We Have Never Been Modern. Harlow: Longman, 1993.
Le Guin, Ursula K. The Carrier Bag Theory of Fiction. London: Ignota Books, 2019.
Lerner, Ben, Aaron B Kunin, Rosmarie Waldrop, and Keith Waldrop. Keeping / The Window Open. Seattle, WA: Wave Books, 1991.
Schmidt, Arno. The Egghead Republic. London: M. Boyars, 1979.
Sheperd, Nan. The Living Mountain. London: Canongate, 2014.
Waldrop, Rosmarie, and Nikolai Duffy. Gap Gardening. New York, NY: New Directions, 2016.