Collectief Walden sees in the Amstelpark (and the Floriade in particular) the ultimate way of controlling nature. In our research, we want to dedicate ourselves to ‘taming’ nature as an ultimate gesture of the Age of Enlightenment, like the French gardens of Louis XIV were meant as a model of order, transparency and harmony. Which power is greater, the clever inventiveness of human beings or the brutal perseverance of nature? Can you speak of such a duality in times of the Anthropocene? And how does this translate to plants? What are the deeper layers of feelings with regards to domestication? Can we make these visible for our public? Can we speak about friendship or about oppression? About fraternization or domination?
In our research of the Amstelpark, Collectief Walden wants to anticipate our multi annual research theme after 2020, namely Enlightenment; freedom, equality, fraternization, and the relation between human, landscape, energy and Enlightenment. This will result in an interim research presentation in the spring of 2019 and a visual installation fully tailored to the Amstelpark, in autumn 2019. The final result will be a visual spatial installation that also includes research material interwoven in the presentation. During the public moment in spring, we will make the public part of our research, which we will present in short videos. The human/animal/plant relationship has ensured that people settled and built houses, but this changed the environment. To what extent do you change the environment as human being, animal or plant, and to what extent does it change you? Is there a distinction between nature and culture in our designed landscape?