What the Wild Things Are: Experiments in Anthropic Wildness
RESOLVE Collective talk about the project What The Wild Things Are and take visitors on a "walkshop" through Vienna's urban wilderness.
Meeting point is in the exhibition Bordering Plants at Exhibit Gallery.
“That is why it is called foresta [forest]; as though the ‘e’ of feresta [a haunt of wild animals] were changed to an ‘o’.”
Richard FitzNeal, Lord Treasurer, laments the ‘Royal Forests’ of England in the ‘Dialogus de Scaccario’, 1177.
What The Wild Things Are was an artist research collaboration between RESOLVE Collective, Wellcome Collection, West Dean College and De La Warr Pavilion in the UK in 2022. The project surveyed the geographical and political ecological contexts of these varying institutions – the urban, the coastal, and the rural – probing predeterminations of what and who is ‘wild’ in these contexts.
Finding and incorporating material experiments, community engagement, and archival research into the challenge against our perceived separation of built and ‘natural’ environments, What The Wild Things Are foraged local and institutional spaces through a process we called ‘bashment’. The name of this Glissant-inspired creolisation of the process of masonry flint knapping, with a view toward extracted and salvaged materials, played on the Germanic root of knapping, ‘knopp’, or “to strike”, and the Jamaican Patois term for dancehall music and raving. It became the material language with which this research explored topics as far-flung controversial Forest Law system of 11th century England to young people’s everyday experience of ‘the wild’ in London and Bexhill.
For our session for Bordering Plants, we will be speaking to this research before reconsidering the wilderness of Vienna through a participant-led ‘walkshop’ around the city.