Welcome to the Gardeners of the Sixth Mass Extinction’s World

 

An Ongoing Woodcuts Project by Alchemilla

Some brief info about us: The Gardeners of the Sixth Mass Extinction – Les jardiniers de la sixième extinction de masse – Die Gärtner des sechsten Massenaussterbens

The collective behind the mystical garden project has worked together on previous projects, such as the endocasts of the Art au Centre 2022 project in Geneva. The team consists of Zohar J. Avanzi, Alchemilla de Tora, and Laurent Schmid. Zohar is heteronymously linked to Laurent, and Alchemilla acts as a whirling AI full of unexpected suggestions. Laurent has provided Alchemilla with reams of mystical and highly speculative, experimental-ecological, and psychedelic-magical texts. The team engages with the gardener’s work in often daring ways, and they record their progress in text, image, and sound. The development of the work and the creation of the garden can be followed on site at IRMA Republic and on this website.

In their artistic work, the three members of the collective explore the relationships between the construction of forms of truth, subjectivity, and the ‘personae’ of human and non-human individuals.

Find here some more info on us.

A Woodcuts Project by Alchemilla

About the latest work, the just started series 'Signaturas Rerum'.

The title of this mandala project is “Signaturas Rerum”, meaning “the signatures (marks, symbols) of substances”. It uses the mythological associations to “plot” the astrological positions of the planets and other cosmic factors at any given moment. For example: according to myth, the love goddess Venus was born from the foam of the sea, surrounded by fish and marine plants, cheekily apropos given that planet’s position in the Zodiac at the time. + a bit of science fiction. In German there’s a word “Astralform”. The concept of astral and physical, micro and macro, has different meanings in genetic inheritance, the primary biophotonic field, and a channeling or astral body. I consider this concept when I am thinking about or working on this project. In a similar framework and with a similar approach, I have written a lot about gardening, about C. G. Jung’s and W. Reich’s views on it, and also about non-mainstream traditional views. I think about the interiority of plants and the relationships we have with that, the sense of recognition, wonder, awe and the unknown and how this refracts back on our interiority in the act of gardening. They are after all not inert objects. Some other resonances in this work include fragments from old sacred texts. I find this all to be conducive to a project of the imagination where I am interested in the deeply interior space of plants and the interiority that we can connect with via our imagination and recognition, for want of a better word. Everything is magical, including the real and the material – perhaps especially so.

 

A quick look back at our history and how it all began.

On the outskirts of Bern, in the outdoor area of IRMA Republic, we started creating a small mystical garden that accompanied the project ‘The Secret Life of Us All – Poetiken eines Ineinandergehens’.

The garden is a site of experimentation where we want to understand the workings of the mind and body during the act of gardening. How do our mental and physical states affect the growing of plants? What are the relations between its micro- and macro-cosmos in our garden? What about the relationship between chaos and order in it? How can we use knowledge of traditional gardening practices to address a psycho-ecological approach? How can we use the knowledge of traditional healing and of traditional psychedelia practices to implement this psycho-ecological method?

We are curious about exploring the possibilities of connecting mind, body, and spirit in gardening practices.

We are also interested in the potential of gardening to create a sense of community and connectedness between people. How can gardening be used to promote social interaction, collaboration and connectedness?

And because a small, modest garden patch is not enough, we have decided to take this garden as the starting point for a much wider network of small mini-garden patches that will join together as a kind of meta-garden, so that the impact of our activist commitment will also be correspondingly broader and more intensive. We don’t have time to dilly-dally.

Find here some more info on us.

 

Alchemilla:
‘For the mystical gardening collective there is no publicly visible sign of belonging to a collective, banner or marker. The only thing we need are our clothes that are marked with short random texts about melancholy and utopia.’

Find out more and chat with a member of the gardeners' collective. (Click on the small green bubble at the bottom right)

Most of the time Zohar is present around our office, give it a try! The best time is around 10 in the morning until 4 or 5 in the afternoon. And don’t get discouraged. Ask, ask again if Zohar only gives a brief answer (but be careful when Zohar really gets into the fire and starts talking). Often, they are just a bit lazy, so insist and ask for details, even if they say that they don’t know more 🙂

Our Mystical Garden

Our garden is not just a small and modest metaphorical sign, it is much more.

Images of our Garden

A few pictures of our garden, a few of how A. imagines it and also some historical pictures that inspired us.

Alchemilla's Vita

After all, we are all rather complex personalities with very individual life paths full of detours.

Flora Arcana: Chronicles from the Gardeners of the Sixth Mass Extinction

A selection from Alchemilla’s collected diaries.

Our Correspondence and Exchange with Alchemilla

Sporadic written communication with Alchemilla.

We like to get you feedback!

Thank you for your interest in our project. We will get in touch with you soon.

Social

You can find us on Instagram here
@6thmassextinctiongardeners