The Garden


Meech Boakye: Research Poems

A digital garden and artist project that will grow and flourish throughout the seasons

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The Garden is a research-based and artist-led guide to explore, experience, and experiment with the ecological imagination and speculative transfiguration of the “garden.” From the use of botanical gardens to cultivate seeds for plantation crops; to the implied and forced boundaries between public and private spaces; to the embedded colonial ideologies of beauty, conservation, and mastery: the garden is as much a social institution as it is a physical site. While often “contained,” the botanical garden is simultaneously a global environment—connected through systems and ideologies of colonialism and imperialism—and affixed to spaces such as the public park, the cemetery, and the home garden. As an exercise in space-making, this ongoing series will examine the garden through the lens of displacement and dislocation, notions of property and its limits, of authorship and belonging. How does the garden’s colonial and imperial history inform its varied contemporary functions? What emergent grounds does the garden offer, where the illegible, the ungovernable, and the communal thrive?

Through these historical, dialogic, and digital explorations, The Garden recreates and experiments with the garden, as form and idea, to tend the seeds for autonomous, collective, and liberatory potential. The Garden lives as an evolving test plot at Active Cultures, hosting conversations, artist projects, and workshops beginning in Spring 2022 and growing with passing seasons.

About the Curator

The Garden is organized by AC’s former Curator and Editor Anna Cho-Son.


Active Cultures’ programs are made possible through the generous support of its Board of Directors; the Gatherers Annual Fund; California Arts Council; the Jerry & Terri Kohl Family Foundation; the Los Angeles Visual Arts (LAVA) Coalition; and LA County Department of Arts and Culture as part of Creative Recovery LA, an initiative funded by the American Rescue Plan.