Plant Slaves

There’s nothing like using life forms as decoration. It just brings nature close, mmm! The logic is astonishingly clever, too: functional architecture leads to the sense that one is living in an exercise yard in a prison, but what if one put a slave in there to dance? That would make the place seem alive, right?

Flowering Plum Tree Used as a Splash of Paint Off a Brush. Vernon.

It’s a amazing the difference a living thing does to a bank parking lot and drive through banking lane! It gets the emotions all a buzzing. Why, one thinks (as life recognizes life), it is possible to live here!

Landscaping is really a most intriguing art form. Not only does it make astonishing use of life as a form of paint, but it proves remarkably impervious to invasion by the taggers and graffiti queens of the plant world, as this other shot of the bank wall shows so well.

Grasses Giving a Little Life to a Holding Pen

And look at all that weedy tagging in the background, at the boundary between the horizontal and vertical planes of the main body of this art installation. There’s no way they can draw power away from the main stars of the show in their little concrete stage. In fact, they honour it with their applause.

All parking lot art is not so powerful or well-integrated, of course. At the back end of the bank parking lot, the taggers hang out in gangs. With no one to model themselves on, their message is as stark as the parking bumpers they collect among …

 Chain Gang at Work

Cheatgrass, Chinese Elm, and Friends hard at work busting the concrete apart to get at the soil. Note that in this environment, human litter fills plant space, rather than the plants being used, like little machines, to warm human space. This relationship obviously goes two ways.

Indeed, it does…

Plant Traffic Cop Between Automobile Parking Spaces and Human Walking Space

Only officially sanctioned plants need apply. Note the bike gang dude just entering the picture from the right. He is not the audience for this installation.

Here’s a pure example of the same principle, but this time the buffer zone is used as a splash of colour, like a cross between a modernist Dutch painting of tulip fields in the spring light (as seen from a Stuka bomber) and artificial turf.

Art for Viewing from a Car

 Materials: Weed & Feed, Weed Whacker, Mechanical Edger, and Turf

Such minimum security prisons fill this city. Beats me. Sometimes one is just overwhelmed with praise for human ingenuity. Or is that cruelty?

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