Living Description is an education initiative convened by Aislinn Thomas who is working with other contributors to create non-visual ways of experiencing the life and growth of a garden. Interdependent and interconnected ecosystems thrive within the x̱aw̓s shew̓áy̓ New Growth《新生林》, a garden designed by the Artist and Ethnobotanist T’uy’t’tanat-Cease Wyss at 221A’s Semi-Public 半公開. Living Description takes its inspiration from the garden as a living system. Just as last season’s foliage became the basis for next season’s nutrients, the elders of equity work began a process that continues to be nurtured by a new generation. Thomas leans into the poetics, experience and sense-scapes of her peers and youth as she exchanges knowledge to create Visual Descriptions that resist stagnancy. Through the convergence of many bodyminds we might find the words to describe not only what can be seen in the garden, but sensed. Offering further opportunities for shared sensing and sense-making.
Living Description works to build a visual description that offers a range of options as a starting point to conceptualize access not as an accommodation, but a relational process that is an opulent component of the whole. Seeking fullness through multiplicity, Thomas will work with descriptions created from multiple viewpoints for multiple needs and preferences. Drawing on standardized practices, poetry, improvisation, conversation, and audio recordings, Living Description searches for fullness via a multiplicity of inputs. To think of this shared space, situated in a community of intersecting histories, is to think of relationship building. To build a togetherness in the connection of a garden is to nurture the fruitfulness of all these relations.