Object amnesic: a compost manifesto by Henrik Strömberg & Jens Soneryd
Henrik Strömberg (artist) and Jens Soneryd (writer) started their joint project The Compost in 2016. For them, the compost is a point of departure to explore alternative ways of being in the world, alternative practices of doing, thinking, sensing, seeing, and understanding.
Object amnesic: a compost manifesto aims to contribute to the re-enchantment of the world, by translating back functions into meanings, tree-plantations into forests, answers into questions, and first and foremost by turning our attention to the processes rather than to the intended results.
The book deals with topics such as growth and decay, memory and forgetting, permanence and change, the desiring gaze and the detached gaze. It also reflects on technologies for understanding, such as writing and photography.
It questions the predominant technocratic Cartesian view on nature as something to be measured, predicted and controlled. It challenges the very notion that control is a desirable achievement. Instead of trying to control and to govern artistic or natural processes, the book encourages us to join these very processes, to become part of them, or simply to acknowledge that we already are part of them despite that we most often pretend not to be.
And just like any compost, the book is an assemblage of things in various stages of completeness as the objects in the compost are not registered, and no actions are undertaken to save them from oblivion or decay - forgetting is just as important as remembering, ambivalence and doubt are just as important as knowledge and certainty. To reach without being able to reach is just as important as grasping. The aim of a compost is not to reach answers, explanations, or conclusions, but to produce fertile soil. So is the aim of this book.