States of Undergrowth & Technocracy
Upon entering the State of Undergrowth, the traveller has to anticipate several days or even weeks of thorough interrogations and paper work. Questions can include aspects of origin and species, potential enemies or personal perspectives on landscape painting.
While there are no wrong answers, the admission is only granted once the traveller denies all interest in botanical espionage: it is strictly forbidden to collect any information on techniques of composting.
The technocratic procedures had been introduced to gain some governance over the State of Undergrowth. Habitants had been counted, measured, and health checked, fields and horizons had been charted. A bureau for tracking incoming and outgoing resources had been put into place.
However, with the constantly changing population, unmanageable communication systems and disorderly traffic of pollen and papilionaceae, the mapping and gathering of information proved to be impossible, and the technocratic system now simply governs and charts itself, detached from the state’s actual plant life.
In the meantime, the thriving in the undergrowth evolved into dreadful competitions among
those trees that believe that big crowns will lead to big thinking, and therefore achieving
domination over those that are doomed to linger down in the shade. These plants incautiously inflate their crowns to oversize and too often a head bursts in a tremendous explosion of raining leaves, echoing through the forests, only giving way for others to follow hastily their example.
The state’s true rulers live in the undergrowth, and are so blended into their environment that no foreign wanderer ever caught their glimpse. To them, the seeming state of confusion and disorder appears as pure logic and the best of all possible organisations.
The Antipode State of Undergrowth
When crossing the equator and entering the antipodal state, a completely different picture presents itself: each tree grows at an equal distance to its neighbouring tree, and all trees are chopped along a line at the exact same height. With one cloud above each tree,
the cut-open crowns serve as rainwater collecting tanks, funneling the stream to feed the
grand mushroom undergound. The grand mushroom is the actual centre and ruler: all plants are connected to its roots and there’s equal exchange of carbon, water and minerals to each habitant.
Here, undergrowth is prohibited by sealed soils: cities and streets are between every pair of trees. The cities are all of the same size and enjoy a fresh supply of fruit falling directly into their markets.
From Beneath the Pavement: A Garden