I was pleased to be asked for a short English language extract from Radical Gardening to be included in the new publication from Budapest-based art group/venue, Lumen. It’s published this week, as part of the OFF-Biennale in that city. Nicely the launch party for the book (is it a book? An online publication? Not quite certain, to be honest) had a buffet consisting of food foraged by the contributors—as well as being accompanied by the screening of a film involving autonomous artist John Jordan called Paths Through Utopias, which I hope to see sometime.
Here’s the description of the publication, from Lumen themselves. (What do you think of the cover, right?) The extract they requested from Radical Gardening is about the Garden City movement and the ‘cranks’ and utopianists attracted there.
Lumen Station #3: Reap and Sow
Having received a lot of attention by contemporary art recently, the topic of this Lumen Station publication is agricultural production. More specifically, strategies of self-sustenance and survival for individuals, small groups or a whole society, that have emerged primarily but not exclusively within art projects and initiatives launched by artists.
Utopias, an ever unreachable ideal world and the other side of the coin, dystopias, the nightmare of a dark, fearful era have been present all along known human history. However, in the recent past there has been an inevitable abundance of theories forecasting a collapse, and, parallel or maybe even as a response to these, appeared agricultural production, self sustenance and return to nature as more optimistic, counter-utopian ideas. This is not so much an artistic impulse, but a social phenomenon, which however interests many socially-engaged artists.
Editor: Virág Major
Co-Editors: Krisztina Erdei, Gergely László, Judit Szalipszki
Graphic Design: Katarina Ševic
Contributors: Collective Plant, Andrea FAJGERNÉ DUDÁS and Eszter Ágnes SZABÓ, ex-artists’ collective, Fallen Fruit, finger group and Katalin ERD?DI, Ivan Ladislav GALETA, Fernando GARCIA-DORY, Gergely HORVÁTH – Róbert NAGY, Valentina KARGA, Christoph KELLER, Elke KRASNY, George McKAY, Miklós MÉCS, Myvillages, Nils NORMAN, Endre Lehel PAKSI, Claire PENTECOST, Klaus PICHLER, Harry SACHS – Franz HÖFNER
About Lumen Station program
Between 2004 and 2012 the Foundation ran an international exhibition space in Budapest: the Lumen Gallery. As of 2012, the Lumen Committee has opened a new chapter. The monthly solo shows are substituted by the Lumen Station program, the publishing program of the Lumen Foundation. Within this framework a single project or a general topic is chosen and focused upon in a publication. Instead of the artwork and the exhibition, the artistic process and its context are put into spotlight.
The publication is released in the framework of the OFF-Biennalé Budapest.