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Seounju Kim on Staying with the Trouble
27 October, 2023
Playing games of string figures is about giving and receiving patterns, dropping threads and falling but sometimes finding something that works something consequential and maybe even beautiful, that wasn’t there before, of relaying connections that matter, of telling stories in hand upon hand, digit upon digit, attachment site upon attachment site, to craft conditions for finite flourishing on terra, on earth.
Dona Haraway, Staying with the Trouble, 2019.
Buildings serve not only as homes for people but also as a plan life. In a forgotten rooftop corner, wild soybean, horsetail, horseweed, and foxtail have taken root. Wild soybeans, in particular, are frequently the first to colonize open, barren ground, enriching the soil by fixing nitrogen, thereby making way for other plants. Similar to the game of cat’s cradle, where players exchange strings to create intricate patterns based on the previous figure, the gardener takes the existing patterns of the spontaneous flora as the base. Over time, as seeds sprout and more weeds flourish, the play of string figures continues.
GARDENS OF STRING FIGURES, Installation with plants, Seonju Kim, 2023. Popup Yeonnam: Open Boundaries