Speculations on Digital Art and Viral Spaces
Monday, September 7, 2009
From Sharon Lin Tay, online digital arts curator for FLEFF 2010 and professor at Middlesex University, London, England
As I began writing this blog, I am hoping that I won't die from the three large painful blotches on my legs that show no sign of subsiding--despite overdosing on antihistamine.
I got them from some nasty bug while digging in my friend Carol's allotment in the English countryside over the weekend.
I'm cultivating my green fingers, and volunteering as farm labourer in the late summer when the fruit and vegetables are ripe for harvest is a very good way to go about it.
There are more tomatoes, cucumbers, potatoes, and raspberries than Carol knows what to do with. I have carted home enough vegetables to last a week.
Most readers of this blog are no doubt familiar with the mad and obsessive way in which the English garden and the allotment function as a visual and soil testament to the inalienable right to garden.
The community garden is a space of congeniality and collectivity. There are unwritten rules and codes about respecting (and not meddling with) your neighbor's plot.
It used to be that the allotment provided much of the food for poor families in the 19th and early 20th century. But as development increased, the amount of land provided for allotments progressively declined.
However, allotmenteering is seeing a resurgence of interest in these uncertain times where questions of food security and environmental sustainability abound.
The last time I checked, allotmenteering has become so fashionable that you'll have to wait 12 years for a plot in and around London.