Thilo Folkerts of 100 Landschaftsarchitektur and Rodney LaTourelle created an installation–set up in 2010–of old and decaying books, placed in the forests of Quebec, which have magically begun to sprout mushrooms and moss, and have acted as a psuedo wildlife refuge for local flora and insects. Dubbed the Jardin de la Connaissance, the piece consists of hundreds of books stacked into walls and benches, with the intent that it would eventually be absorbed by the surrounding forest. Two years later and the installation is a success, and fungi have made it their permanent home. The idea original idea behind Jardin is “Culture is fading back into nature,” with the explicit intent that sometime in the near future nature would fully reclaim this man-made book construction.
In his 2007 book The World Without Us (a good read for any of you sci-fi apocalyptic nature buffs out there), Alan Weisman asks the question “what would happen to world if we were no longer in it? How would nature reclaim the earth, and take over our man made structures? While Weisman was thinking more of total cities than creative book composting, he made a pretty good case for the resilience of the forest, and could definitely have used this project as a small chapter.
Check out this exhibit to see nature’s power for yourself. That is, until it becomes more mushroom than book garden. Click though the images below to get a closer look at the work.