THE COMPOST

# 1. Under the birch tree, at the end of the garden: Covered with leaves, sticks, and branches. The compost needs air to breathe and daydream. We feed it with corals, feathers, failures, bones, useless memories, outworn names, old bread, vegetables, and stories, a manifold of stories.

# 2. The compost is breathing: Air from other planets, various pasts and futures. A smell of fresh, healthy soil–and a bit of a scent of ammonia. The compost is hungry. It’s always hungry. Hungry for change.

# 3. Jacques Lacan was right: Structures do walk the streets. In these days, they seem to be everywhere; patrolling the cities, guarding their borders, haunting our stories. The compost doesn’t go anywhere. It stays with the trouble (in Donna J. Haraway’s sense). It is busy producing fertile soil for old and new languages, imaginaries, and other habitats.

# 4. The compost is not: A structure (it doesn’t care about differences); a brand (it has no strategy); a concept (at least not a well-defined one…and sometimes it smells); a collection (it has no borders, it doesn´t exclude anything or anyone); nostalgic (it has an appetite for the past, that is true, but it produces soil and continuations, not returns to lost homes); utopic (it’s based on waste and memories).

# 5. The compost is: Process; metabolism; metamorphosis; a passage between the domesticated (geometrical) and the wild (spontaneous), between the actual and the possible; a temporary refuge; a place that speaks (or murmurs).

# 6. The compost is not about: Keeping.

# 7. The compost is about: Letting go.

# 8. Why do we need the compost: Because we think we know what we do. We don’t.

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The Compost is an ongoing collaboration between Jens Soneryd and artist Henrik Strömberg. This manifesto was written for Henrik Strömberg's exhibition at Auswärtiges Amt, Berlin, April, 2017.

Jens Soneryd, Berlin, April 2017

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