Thoughts on permaculture and art by Edith Doove


Dear all, I realise that I have skipped a couple of weeks in my hosting of the blog, caught up in work, the first micro-residency I organised in Saint-Nazaire, thinking about how my activities connect and how to simultaneously give shape to next week’s ARE meeting, the abstract presentation for the Transtechnology Research seminar on the 19th and my upcoming paper for the issue on ‘Making the Posthuman’ for the Italian magazine Rivista Scenari due in March. As always I like a holistic approach to what I do, on the one hand out of lack of time, but also true to Michael Punt sound advice to make the things that you do or produce pay twice (or something of that order).

So while I try to survive and continue my practice as a curator and researcher by working as a translator, I realised that ‘translation’ forms an integral part of that practice and that I should not see it as a separate entity. My blog therefore now states that ‘Bureau Doove is a creative consultancy built on the pillars of curating and translation’. I see this blog as an extremely versatile and flexible exhibition space in which various elements can quickly be changed around and adapted. It is my personal lab.

The interconnection of entities, both human and nonhuman, lies also at the basis of permaculture and although I am far from a specialist in the matter I am trying to integrate this way of thinking in various ways in my practice, more often than not realising that I have been practicing it all along, just not being conscious of it.

This is the first of a series of posts that I intend to publish over the coming weekend and that I hope that can function as a basis for next week’s meeting.

For now I would like to end with a link to the latest book by Richard Power’s, The Overstory, that celebrates trees. This seems to chime extremely well with my current situation and way of thinking, near the sea, but with a view of trees – see the image above. I haven’t read Power’s book yet, but discovered it last night in the unsurpassed programme La grande librairie in which Powers was interviewed on the occasion of the French translation. Interestingly the French title of the book is L’Arbre Monde – The Tree World.

In his twelfth novel, National Book Award winner Richard Powers delivers a sweeping, impassioned novel of activism and resistance that is also a stunning evocation of—and paean to—the natural world. From the roots to the crown and back to the seeds, The Overstory unfolds in concentric rings of interlocking fables that range from antebellum New York to the late twentieth-century Timber Wars of the Pacific Northwest and beyond, exploring the essential conflict on this planet: the one taking place between humans and nonhumans. There is a world alongside ours—vast, slow, interconnected, resourceful, magnificently inventive, and almost invisible to us. This is the story of a handful of people who learn how to see that world and who are drawn up into its unfolding catastrophe.


It is one of these encounters that continuously tend to shape my thinking and practice. Being open to these kind of encounters and how to make sense of time is essential and also allows me to tackle the difficulties of sustaining my practice in a creative way. My upcoming posts will thus reflect on interconnection and some thoughts on how I intend to realise this productively.

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