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PARTICIPATIVE GARDEN PROJECT BY MIRKO NIKOLIĆ AT ECOISMI 2012
WITH ASSISTANCE OF IL FOLLETTO VERDE AND WITH HELP OF 17 GARDENER/MAPPERS

MAY 23, 2012

DAY ONE. DIGGING THE FOUNDATIONS OF THE CITY

Today Ecoismi 2012 works on site have officially started. The international group of artists has converged on Isola Borromeo. As for what regards my project, I have started, with my assistant Paolo, from the very base of things. Just like when building any city, even a Garden Map one requires foundations to come to being. At first, we have tried by using a yellow, I don't exactly remember how strong in terms of wattage, engine-drive cultivator. Very soon we have found out that terrain is all but malleable. It was way too hard, and, in the morning, we have managed to prepare only a tiny piece of the entire area, with a great waste of calories, too.

At that moment, Paolo suggested we changed the instrument, and, in the afternoon, we rented a much more stronger cultivator. That proved to be a solution, albeit still not an easy one, because we needed to do three rounds on every tract of land to obtain the necessary depth of the dig. In that way, until dusk we managed to cover the central area of the city. But, half of the day was lost, so we were already behind the schedule. Moreover, the clouds accumulated, and the smell of rain was in the air. If it rained then, or during the night, the earth would have become impossible to work on for a couple of days. In this tense situation, as the sun went down, a rainbow appeared. I interpeted it as a propitious sign for tomorrow.

Old linen factory of Cassano d'Adda on Canale Muzza in the morning light, seen from Isola Borromeo bridge.
The first engine-driven cultivator employed in digging out Garden Map foundations.
Me trying to muscle out with the force of the cultivator and the resistance of the land.
Paolo and his assistant Angelo in a concerted effort to subdue the land.
At 1 PM, the state of things is all but promising. The cultivator is definitely beaten, and we, too. The change of tactics is necessary.
Camion covered by bamboo plants, parts of Eshan Eshani's Bowrbird work.
A very nice vegetable garden on the island. Nice to see that this land, seemingly so hostile, is a fertile one.
The machine which will save the day.
Paolo driving confidently the second motocultivator.
The landscape at the end of Day One. The central area is dig out, but significant tracts of land are to be worke on tomorrow.

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