Rot Garden Readings
Series of lecture-performances and publications, 2021-23

Installing his work table and a photocopier in Sara Manente’s Rot Garden, Jeroen Peeters proposed to ‘ferment’ a publication in and on this very environment. How to approach writing as part of an ecosystem and material process? A large jar, a recipe, a starter, a pinch of salt these were all the elements needed to ferment a text. The jar was then sealed and once in a while opened to feed the brew, add substance or spices, or to release pressure moments of publication, not unlike a burp.
The emerging states of the publication were printed on a daily basis and presented in public readings, with reflections on fermentation, ecology, aesthetics and the arts of ‘not-writing’, an exploration that was quite literally to be taken with ‘a pinch of salt’. This was followed by the printing of zines in a run equal to the amount of people present. Writer and text, readers and listeners were all part of the same environment, eager to engage in conversation and practise cultural rewilding. It was an experiment in local publishing that revolved around a constantly transforming and distributed ‘text’, unfurling in an unstable and irreversible process. What was this ‘pickled community’ meaning to preserve for the future?
The Rot Garden Readings tooks place during a residency in Sara Manente’s collective installation (with Christophe Albertijn, Sofie Durnez, Deborah Robbiano, et al) Rot Garden, a four-day multisensory environment of things, sounds, scents, texts, textures and dances activated through fermentation technologies (BUDA Kortrijk, 10-13 June 2021). Opening up the jar again after two years, more states were published.
State 0: Starter. 10 June 2021, 11:30. Zine (A4, 16 pages, edition of 3).
State I: A Pinch of Salt. 10 June 2021, 18:45. Lecture-performance at Rot Garden and zine (A4, 4 pages, edition of 17).
State II: Bacterial Life. 11 June 2021, 18:45. Lecture-performance at Rot Garden and zine (A4, 4 pages, edition of 6).
State III: A Pickled Community. 12 June 2021, 19:00. Lecture-performance at Rot Garden and zine (A4, 12 pages, edition of  21).
State IV: Beautification at the Risk of Growing Mould. 13 June 2021, 18:00. Zine (A4, 12 pages, edition of 2).
State V: A Pickled Community. 26 April 2023. Article in ROT ISSUE ONE 2023: IMMUNITY (Varamo Press, 2023).
State VI: A Pickled Community. 18 July 2023, 17:00. Oral publication at Eindorf, Vienna in the framework of Salon(g)ing with Books and Friends.
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