For three days, from May 24th to 26th 2019, Already Within Project Space invited visitors to share space with the unwanted plants of Houston. A parking lot, on the grounds of what will soon be turned into Houston’s new innovation district, became a place to draw and share stories about the wild plants growing in the streets of Midtown.
Weeds are survivors that claim space and spread out. Historically they have provided food and medicine for humans as well as animals: just one part of their complex role in our shared ecosystem. Additionally they have the potential to interrupt a desire for control and organization.
It is always humans determining what plants are weeds, based on our plans for nature. A weed would never be considered unwanted before human interference; we are the ones claiming that they are in the wrong place.
Already Within Project Space was located on Caroline St; a street that for years has provided shared spaces for people in Houston and a site that now faces challenges in the name of “innovation” and “redevelopment”.
Already Within Project Space finds itself opposing the “ever-forward motion of discovery” and simply dreams of equal opportunities. It abandons the privileged notion of “a truly original idea” and rather promotes consideration for what already exist. It is against “fostering a community and culture” when indeed a community has already developed here for decades.
WEEDS was funded in part by the City of Houston through Houston Arts Alliance and made with assistance from Emilý Æyer, Max syron and Liyen Chong.
*All quotes from press release of Rice University’s plans for Midtown dated Jan 30th 2019.