First Post

First Post

You are an odd sort of person. How I can tell? Because you are here, reading this. Not only have you found this thing called PLANTPOP, but you have chosen to search down to the very bottom of of the pile for this post. Have you read and watched everything else? You still want more?

I assume it was not an accident. You must be here on purpose. Are you a historian—one of those scholarly types who loves studying outdated things? Perhaps one of your favorite quotes is Santayana's famous one: "Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it." All historians love that one. Unfortunatley, Santayana was dead wrong. It doesn't really matter if we remember or not. We're doomed anyway. Nobody else remembers, and they're the ones driving the car. Ask anyone. "Change" is, as old George feared, constant and absolute. Therefore, "infancy is perpetual." Sounds about right.

How did you get here, again? Why aren't you looking at "some new thing" which you can hear or tell or share or pin? Here's a nice picture of Athens, which is quite old, really, but that's all part of the joke. But to get that, you'd have to know your New Testament, which is also very old, and hasn't changed much, seeing as its the infallible word of God.

But here you are. You came to this for some purpose. My bet is this: you are curious to see how PLANTPOP (that future thing of which now I only daydream as I write this) came to be. And that thought is at once both delightful and terrifying to me. It means one of two things have happened. Either everything has gone well and PLANTPOP is a beautiful thing to be treasured...or else it is so overwhelmingly awful, such a train wreck, that you just had to see the birth of a disaster. Seeing as both options lead only to folly, for great success is just as ridiculous as abject failure, I tell myself not to worry too much about the outcome.

Which is liberating. This is the best moment, when nobody's watching, or reading. I can do anything, say anything. This is freedom. How much harder this would be with an audience!

It's a bit like starting a garden. All the best gardens I have ever seen have been in backyards, not the front yards. They dwell far away from prying eyes. They are private spaces, because they began with danger. "It might not work. This could be awful." Great gardens are born in secret, not on center stage—except by very skilled and experienced landscapers, of course. The glare of the spotlight kills.

I'm sure every gardener who ever lived, no matter what their theological leaning may be, has (or would) appreciate the sacred scripture: "For who has despised the day of small things?" It takes a lot of hope to plant anything, of any size, and that is why gardeners and growers and most especially propagators are the most hopeful of people.

I will not despise these small beginnings, and I will not disappoint your curiosity. I will explain my thinking, as convoluted as it seems right now. Here is what we aim to do: explore the intersection of people and plants, the culture of horticulture, if you will, through creative digital media. Here is how we will begin: making films about people and plants in our region, and creating elegant time-lapse films of flowers blooming. Here is how we will make money: we have no idea. We'll worry about that later, when we run out of money. This is why we are doing it: we believe in the power of plants, that they are utterly beautiful and worthy of our highest efforts to study, understand and appreciate. Our post-modern, digital, information-overloaded culture in which we live dedicates far more attention and artful inspiration toward far less important things than plants. Like what? Don't get us started. If you need examples, just go back to Facebook (assuming that's still a thing).

Here's our ten things:

  1. Plants speak for themselves (but they need a translator).
  2. The conversation is online (so we must be).
  3. The internet is not the answer (but plants are).
  4. Be beautiful (but real).
  5. Don't be boring (but don't sensationalize).
  6. Be honest (no buts). Don't hide.
  7. Useful is overrated.
  8. Pay no attention to view counts.
  9. Flowers not food.
  10. Help others. People are more important than plants.

Thanks for reading. Let me know what you think!

-Art Parkerson