Garden parties often take clean white linens and cocktail tables as the central figures of their infrastructure. In 1915 just outside of Holworthy Hall, in fact, an article in the Harvard Crimson called on students to “join the biggest and best Garden Party ever attempted.” In this audiovisual media installation in a reusable scaffolding structure, plants are instead treated as the guests of honour rather than the backdrop. With music designed for the enjoyment of plants and light complementing their biotic needs, this temporary installation thinks on what it means to hold a party for a non-human audience: rather than holding a party for people in a garden, the party is held for the garden’s plants.

This page features the guest list for the party, which includes a list of long-day plants. Long-day plants are ones that are particularly responsive to periods of extended daylight, or even light periods at night as a way to further their growth. Long-used as a tactic in food production to produce more food faster, this installation counters the idea that plants must be pushed biotically to their most productive state for the purposes of feeding us; why not give them the light they love and the night off for a change?

We invite viewers to visit the website at day and at night to learn more about the plants and their diurnal and noctural personas.

Garden Party is part of Harvard Arts First 2022 Festival. The work features the music of Mort Garson’s Plantasia, an album designed for the enjoyment of plants.

Work by Sonia Sobrino Ralston, Simon Lesina Debiasi, Chase Galis, and Christina Moushoul. 

DillEvening PrimrosePetunia  ✧ BegoniaCabbage  ✧ Pea ✧  Wheat ✧  RadishSpinachBasilAfrican DaisiesBachelor’s ButtonLobelia  ✧  Love-in-a-mist  ✧  Sweet Peas  ✧ Aster  ✧ Sage