a collective free association of "A Proverbial Machine in the Garden"



 

The “machine in the garden” is a cultural symbol embodying the tension between the pastoral ideal and the sweeping transformations wrought by industrialization. In his seminal text, The Machine in the Garden: Technology and the Pastoral Ideal in America (1964), cultural historian Leo Marx considers that “nature” is often symbolized by a garden in the American mythology, while an invading machine often stands in for “technology.” This metaphor points back to the industrial era in 19th century America and Europe, but is equally useful in describing the increasingly globalized networks of contemporary capitalism.

The sculptural installation and print edition (pictured here) entitled A Proverbial Machine in the Garden address questions of how we consume and perceive the natural world, while also foreshadowing an entropic post-industrial future, in which the machinery that has shaped our world will finally lose all purpose. To participate in a collective free association that will become part of the project’s archive in the Social Ecology exhibition, please follow the instructions below.

  1. On the tractor diagram in the newspaper are six lines indicating specific elements of the tractor. This phase of the print project involves an unlimited number of participants (“writers”) choosing words to fill in these 6 blank spaces.

  2. Below is a list of terms that pertain to the "A Proverbial Machine in the Garden" project. These are words commonly associated with themes of the “pastoral” and the industrial era, including some taken directly from Leo Marx’s text. Each participant will choose any combination of words from this list to fill in the six blank lines on the print.

  3. Using a red correction marker, participants will free associate, using the six blank lines of the diagram to connect each of their chosen words to the most appropriate tractor part. Each print will thus be labeled with a unique combination of terms, and each print will have a different author. Participants will sign or print their names on the lower right hand corner of the diagram, in the area marked "Writer". Later, I will sign my name where it says "Artist" and the prints will be numbered 1 - ∞ in the space marked "DWG NO."

  4. Participants will then add their contribution to the archive of prints in the display vitrine at the Social Ecologies exhibition, expanding the collective free association of "A Proverbial Machine in the Garden" over the duration of the exhibition.

  5. Once the exhibition has concluded all prints will be documented and added to a public online database.

 

Lexicon:

Abrasive
Access
Acorn
Acre
Aggregate
Agriculture
Almanac
Ancestor
Ancient
Animal life
Annual
Apprenticeship
Ash
Assembly line
Autumn
Axe
Bale
Barbed wire
Barley
Barn
Barn raising
Barometric
Basket
Bay Horse
Bean
Beauty
Bedrock
Bi-product
Bifurcation
Blight
Body
Bog
Bone
Boots
Boulder
Bound
Breach
Breeches
Bridge
Britches
Brutal
Brute
bud
Bulk
Bushel
Business
Cabin
Cairn
Canal
Carnal
Change
Cherish
Chicken
Chicken coop
Chimney
Chores
Chuck
Civilization
Cliff
Coarse
Cock
Colloquial
Common
Community
Companionship
Compost
Containment
Contemplation
Corn
Cornfield
Cornucopia
Corral
Corrosion
Country
Countryside
County line
Cowbell
Cowboy
Crack of dawn
Cradle
Crick
Crisp
Crop
Crop rotation
Crow
Cud
Cultivate
Cupboard
Custom
Dawn
Day
Dearth
Deed
Desertification
Devotee
Diesel
Dig
Digestion
Dirt
Dirt road
Distances
Divine
Domesticated
Dominion
Dove
Drain
Drainage
Draught
Drive
Dross
Drought
Dry
Dusk
Dust
Duty
Earth
Earthworm
Easement
Ecology
Eden
Embankment
Encounter
Ennoble
Erosion
Estate
Export
Falcon
Fall
Fallow
Farm
Farmed
Farmer
Farmer’s tan
Fate
Fecund
Feed
Fence
Fence post
Fertile
Fertility
Fertilizer
Fetch
Fetid
Fetter
Field
Field mouse
Fieldwork
Flock
Flyway
Fodder
Fodder crop
Food
Food crop
Forest Edge
Foster
Fowl
Fox
Fresh
Frontier
Frontierism
Fuel
Gallop
Garret
Gate
Gather
Gauge
Gaze
Gazette
Generation
Geography
Geologic
Germination
Gleaner
Gorge
Grade
Grain
Grange

Granite
Granular
Granule
Grassy
Grate
Gravel
Graze
Grist
Groundhog
Grove
Grow
Growth
Grub
Guide
Habitat
Handshake
Harness
Harvest
Harvest moon
Haven
Hayloft
Haywire
Head of cattle
Health
Heart
Hearth
Heathen
Hectare
Heights
Heirloom
Hemlock
Hen
Henhouse
Herd
Herdsman
Hermit
Hewn
Hilly
Hired hand
Hoe
Hole
Holistic
hopper
Horizon
Hound
Huckleberry
Hudson
Humanity
Humid
Humus
Hunt
Icon
Ideal
Ideology
Idleness
Idly
Independence
Indigenous
Industrial-agriculture
Infested
Inherited
Instinct
Invasive
Irrigation
Isolation
John Deere
Joy
Junk
Kin
Kindling
Kitten
Knowledge
Labor
Land use
Landowner
Lasso
Leaf litter
Leisure
Life
Light
Livestock
Load
Loader
Locusts
Log
Lowing
Lumber
Lumbering
Lymes
Managed
Manicure
Manure
Mare
Market
Marsh
Master
Materials
Menial task
Mill
Miracle
Monoculture
Mortal
Moth
Mowing
Mud
Mudroom
Mushroom
Muskrat
Native
Nature
Necessity
Neighbor
Nettle-tree
Noble
Noise
Notch
Object
Observe
Obstacle
Oil
Oracle
Oven
Ox
Oxen
Paddock
Pail
Parasite
Pasture
Path
Patriot
Peasant
Pen
Penetrate
Perch
Perennial
Pest
Pests
Photosynthesis
Picker
Piles
Pink moon
Pipe
Piston
Pitchfork
Plain
Play
Plotline
Plow
Plow line
Pole
Pollination
Pond
Porch
Post
Praying mantis
Prelapsarian
Premises
Preparation
Preserve
Progress
Proverbial
Prune
Pungent
Quarry
Radicle
Rafters
Railroad
Rake
Ramble
Ranch
Ravine
Raw
Raze
Reap
Red-tailed hawk
Reflections
Remnant Forest

Reside
Reverence
Reverie
Revolution
Rich
Ride
Ridge
Riffle
Rifle
Ripen
Rise
Rock
Rodent
Rooster
Root
Roots
Rope
Rope swing
Ruminant
Ruminate
Run-off
Rural
Rust
Saddle
sandy
Savage
Saw
Scarecrow
Scenery
Scenic
Scythe
Seasons
Seed
Seedlings
Senescence
Sensuality
Sentimentality
Servant
Shackle
Shaftway
Sharecrop
Shears
Sheep
Shelter
Shoot
Sickle
Silo
Simplicities
Sinuous
Slaughter
Slope
Slough
Slough
Slug
Society
Soil
Solemnity
Solitude
Song
Sophistication
Sow
Soybean
Spade
Splinter
Spreader
Spring
Sprout
Stake
Stirring
Stone
Stove
Stovepipe
Strain
Strata
Striation
Stump
Subject
Sublime
Subsist
Summer
Sun
Sunhat
Sunset
Sunshine
Surroundings
Survey
Surveyor
Sustainable
Sweat
Sweeping
Swimming hole
Tail
Tank
Tare
Task
Technology
Tectonic
Temperate
Tend
Terrain
Terrestrial
Thermal
Thing
Till
Tillage
Timber
Time
Toil
Tool
Topsoil
Tow
Townsmen
Townspeople
Tracks
Trade
Trail
Trailhead
Transcendence
Transcendental
Traverse
Tread
Trespassing
Tret
Trickle
Trope
Trust
Turkey
Turtledove
Twilight
Ulna
Universal
Unsophisticated
Urban
Valley
Verdant
Vermin
Vetch
View
Village
Visitors
Vista
Wagon
Water
Water table
Waterfall
Watershed
Weak
Weather-beaten
Weeds
Well
Wended
Wheat
Wheatfield
Wheelbarrow
Whistle
Whistle
Whole
Wild
Wild stock
Wilderness
Winter
Wonder
Woodchopper
Woodlot
Woods
Woodsman
Work
Worker
Worm
Yonder



Contributor

David Brooks

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