Yes, you read that right; there’s a garden where decaying books lay waiting for nature to reclaim them completely. Is the bibliophile in you already feeling squeamish at the thought of decomposing books, or are you actually feeling curious about it? Read on to find out where in the world you can spot this one-of-a-kind garden!
In 2010, Berlin landscape architect Thilo Folkerts and Canadian artist Rodney LaTourelle designed the Jardin de la Connaissance in Quebec as part of the International Festival des Jardins de Metis. Their installation involved piles and piles of books to form walls, rooms, seats, and even flooring as some of them were half-buried in the soil.
According to a 2010 Dezeen feature, the installation, which “invoked the mythic relation between knowledge and nature integral to the concept of ‘paradise,’” encouraged visitors to have an “emotional involvement by exposing these fragile and supposedly timeless cultural artefacts to the processes of decomposition.”
Two years later, these books by the thousands were already noticeably decayed by the earth, and in their place, new life has been literally and figuratively sprouting. Big mushrooms now burst out of the pages, and this year, the designers started growing moss on their installation.
Fellow bibliophiles, how would you find taking a stroll in this one-of-a-kind garden where books are slowly making their way back to nature? I would probably feel a bit bad to see an interesting title wasting away in the woods, but I won’t deny it’s an interesting sight (and probably a good way to recycle too!). What about you? Share your thoughts with a comment below!
Here in Lomography, we are all lovers of all things analogue, in various aspects and varying degrees. If you’re one of those who prefer reading the analogue way, you might want to check out the rest of the articles in The Analogue Reader series!