- Old sky, old dirt, new grass
A wasteland, a vacant or an odd lot is a piece of ground that remains unproductive, within the structure of a productive system. It is literally: “that urban or rural land that is not edified or cultivated, part of the State’s property because it is placed within its territorial limits and has no other owner”. Most of the public vacant land is unused, Spain being one of the European countries with the highest percentage of these areas per m2. This means that every time you take a walk home from work, you are likely to cross paths with at least one of these spaces. Probably with several of them.
These zones that are permanently in between, in an interstice that is not exceptional but its very condition of possibility, could be understood as negative spaces —those that remain in the visual background, bordering the main representational focus. What has become inoperative, useless, seems to make us uncomfortable. As if we were expecting something else. However, and beyond our expectations, this suspended temporality is indeed necessary when it comes to imagine different ways of living. As the ivies grow and a multitude of particles slowly accumulate, as people pass through or write their name in a piece of wall, as nothing happens in this land of nothingness, an interference is disrupting the logics we are used to, be they linguistic, hyper-productive, or both.
Imagine an uninhabited space, filled with all kinds of entities. Some of them were put aside by different forms of bureaucratic thinking; others were witnesses of systems of dominance we cannot yet see or talk about, but we have been sensing. Picture yourself entering this empty/non-empty garden. Look around you. Try to remember why you decided to come here. Are you getting lost in your rationality? Are you in need of a deep breath? This landscape holds a balancing power, enabling the encounter of apparent opposites. Like a spell that runs through the city, it makes room for the extraordinary or just for other ways of becoming. Now that you’re here, can you feel them? The cosmic glitches? You are navigating a river of latent promises. An accumulation of hints. Here, the water erodes the stone not by strength, but by attentive permanence.
Lucía Millet (Jávea, 1996)