Weed Punk

Weed Punk is what happens when pre-fabricated objects deny the use to which they are put (after being involved in the process of object placement called creativity) and assert their original form. In this case, these flower planters on Vernon, British Columbia’s main highway are asserting their true identity as stacked objects in a weed-filled manufacturing yard waiting to be taken away. The weeds, you will note, have found them, too. Nonetheless, flowers will be planted here and they will die, but not before fulfilling their original “creative” purpose: to “cause” the illusion of beauty when glimpsed at speed. In other words, this installation (but not its objects) is only for people in cars, traveling at speed. People on foot are as out of place here as the bench that appears to be put up for them but is really there to give the impression that it is put up for them. No one uses it, because this is a land created for machines, by machines and by people bound to the boundaries of machines. It must be tended. Without tending, it asserts itself too plainly. Human bondage is the thing. To understand bondage, imagine summer students clustered around pulling up chickweed and planting flowers, and a man with a water truck coming by daily with a hose, before people wake up and start driving around. Without them, this space is an extension of a cement plant yard. This human tending makes the Steam Punk City into the glitter of a human space which it is until the city reasserts itself again with winter. This is hardly the anthropocene. It is the most honest art in the valley.


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