Green Trafalgar

[Image: A green Trafalgar, via the BBC].

There’s a new landscape installation in London. “More than 2,000 sq m of turf has been laid as part of Visit London‘s campaign to promote green spaces and villages in the city,” the BBC reports today.

The grass will cover the square for two days during which visitors will be able to soak up the sunshine in specially laid-out deckchairs or enjoy a picnic.
The turf, which has been sourced from the Vale of York, will then be moved to Bishops Park in Hammersmith and Fulham.

Certainly not the most exciting idea in the world; but I love the underlying concepts: 1) Take a distant landscape (something “sourced from the Vale of York,” for instance) and install it in the center of London. This gives rise to all sorts of possibilities – like recreating the Brecon Beacons throughout the streets of Westminster (you do it in the dead of night and don’t tell anyone what you’re doing). Or: 2) You swap landscapes, installing Trafalgar Square somewhere in the Vale of York to promote urban spaces and cities in the local farmland.
Then again: 3) You simply install lawns everywhere: inside movie theaters and churches and airplanes and hot air balloons… Airborne landscapes and gardens! Flying yards. You then form a company, incorporated in Maryland, called, yes, the Flying Yards and you perform distant landscapes in the sky for stunned crowds.
4) You transform London into what it will look like after it’s been taken over by wild grasses and tree roots and weeds – perhaps even fencing off whole parts of Camden for several years as a complicated work of land art: the city gone feral. Someone at Goldsmiths writes a PhD about you…
But more soon on such future visions of a new London to come.

5 thoughts on “Green Trafalgar”

  1. 5) As an installation/preformance art, you hire (illegal) migrant workers to mow the lawn in full light of the London day. In a nearby gift shop, you sell t-shirts with the words: “Can’t live with them, Can’t landscape without them”.

  2. Ronald Wright’s excellent science fiction novel ‘A scientific romance’ is a time travel yarn about an archaeologist who travels to the future in the time machine Nikola Tesla’s assistant built for H. G. Wells, or something like that.

    He finds a London devastated by global warming, and uses his archaeological skills to learn what happened.

    Anyway, the relevant part of the story is that sometime in the future, a genetically modified organic ‘astroturf’ has escaped from yards and overrun the highways of future England, turning them into grassy swards that are the only way to travel through the forests of the abandoned island.

  3. outsider artists transplant unidentified suburban back gardens onto the roofs of city centre offices – none of the staff notice that they’re actually their own castle grounds…

    or was this a simpsons episode?

    “genetically modified organic”? sly-fi!

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