Garden of Moving Time (Garten der Zeitläufe)

What can we learn with the cycles of life on a school meadow?

From 2022 to 2024, a semester-based, artistic-pedagogical process and open air learning space is being cultivated on the grounds of the HLW Bad Ischl. Together with Daniela Brasil, I am developing the Garden of Moving Time in dialogue with teachers, students and related experts and initiatives. The project is produced by < rotor > Centre for Contemporary Art in the framework of Bad Ischl Salzkammergut European Capital of Culture 2024.

Küchenwiese (meadow adjacent to the kitchen) is the name given to an outdoor area that is located between one of the school buildings and the Sissi Park, also riverbank to the Kaltenbach and Traun water bodies. Which kinds and ways of learning can a plot of land host? Which (past & future) forms of life can it enable, protect, and give a voice to? Can it become a space for the collective self-realisation of a school community?

Rooted in the concept of care, which plays a central role in the student’s education at the HLW (a secondary school for economy, social management and care), the Garden of Moving Time is about reclaiming our relation to Earth-time understood as time to recenter and replenish ourselves – as opposed to time as measure of production. In the garden, broken relations with vegetal, animal, mineral and ancestral worlds can be repaired, across time and perceptions. What is the time of the school, the time of the body, the time of the garden? Underpinning the design is the intention of taking the time to care, and healing by embracing natural time.

In 2022, the first conversations among the project partners started. From 2023 on, Daniela and I introduced process-based participatory art, hands-on workshops and seasonal semester exercises, thereby extending our art practice to the school curriculum. Students and teachers were invited to connect to the cycle of life: learning about regenerating soil, and more-than-human companion- and kinship. For instance, visual soil analysis using the vernacular technique of chromatography revealed the presence, and absence, of soil life at the site of the garden-to-be.

A week after Summer Solstice 2024 (June 27-28) the garden will be handed over to the school community with a blessing ceremony and cultural programme, bringing together the garden’s caretakers, users, neighbours and partners.

Alles hat seine Zeit (everything has its time) – Karl Rossmann, teacher and watchmaker and co-initiator of the project.

Garden Time is artistically realized by Daniela Brasil & Sophie Krier and is created in close cooperation with dedicated teachers, students of the HLW Bad Ischl and numerous project partners from the region and beyond. The project was initiated by Birgit Lurz, Anton Lederer, Margarethe Makovec, Rainer Posch, Karl Rossmann, Wolfgang Schlag and is produced by < rotor > Center for Contemporary Art in the context of Bad Ischl Salzkammergut European Capital of Culture 2024.

Photos Pia Fronia 2023