I cut an old leaf from my house plant. Is that actually caring? Should I not just let it grow yellow? From the phenomenon of houseplants, I got fascinated by how they seduce me into a kind of care where I try to control their growth. Does the plant even want to be bigger?
I recognise this tendency to give shape, from making something or helping someone, but it seems unhelpful. I'm looking for ways of acting that respect the agency outside myself, without 'careful' turning into inertia (which is rather careless). How to care in a trustful way?
Specifically, I'm looking for what material conditions invite such a trustful care-relation. I'm starting from the idea that care is often designed. Human plant-care is a relation that is mediated by tools, images, or concepts. These 'technologies' not only reflect ideas of how humans relate to plants, but also shape and reproduce them.
Here, I want to get a better sense of how design choices affect relations of care. Both how they may invite a control-based relation, but in the end to explore:
How to design a plant-care relation based on trust?
On this site I collect cases where design structures the care relation between humans and plants.
I look for relations where humans do engage with plants – care rather than neglect – but where plants have agency over how they grow – trust rather than control.
This creates four quadrants. Bottom-left is the Easy Dystopia of full control that isolates us from engagement with plants. Bottom-right is the Hard Dystopia of much care but in a controlling shape that will reproduce the inequalities and vulnerabilities of today. Top-left is an Unexpected Ally; although care is far off, it does teach me ways of letting go. Top-right is my Utopia of trustful ways of caring.
I group these instances into different disciplines of 'design'. So far there are the following layers:
Based on gathering many of such instances and my subjective reflections on them, I hope to find patterns. Patterns between these design disciplines that may teach me some literacy in what design choices and aesthetics to avoid, and mostly, what are design tactics to invite trustful care.
I see this site as a Gathering stage of a larger, self-initiated, artistic research project that will be complemented by a positioning Report and Proposals for alternative designs. The shape of these will depend on what I'll find here.
If you're interested in discussing it or contributing a layer, send me an email or dm.
When an instance of design invites a relation with plants where plants get space to move or make mess.
I admire the care necessary to create a bonsai, but the aesthetic bothers me in its unbothering, uptight cleanliness.
It's not because I wouldn't want to sit in that patch of grass over there. I do want to lay down, spread my arms and oh watch out I don't disturb the raked gravel waves. But I don't want to let myself indulge. The seduction feels escapist, and ultimately, lonely.
Precision is intense engagement plus strong grip. There is listening – paths responding to rocks – but any green is kept neat within the lines.
In a Victorian garden, design has won and everything blooms.
There is an honesty to the artificiality, and a vulnerability to the idealised expression of hills and flowerfields. At least I feel some resonance with the romantic painting.
The blooming is a feat, a brushstroke that keeps on asking. A tableau vivant that is codependent on the flowers growing. But where they grow and from where they are watched is set with a subtle fence.
In this Dutch labyrinth it's harder to find wilderness than the exit.
Plants have a functional role here, and care is reduced to maintaining a homogenous hedge that you can't see through.
Control is key. The disorientation only works when there are no contingencies to discover.
In the Eden of the Teletubbies, nature is a set, a virtual background for soft drama to play out.
The hilled fields need to be as spotless as a greenscreen, or they would foreground themselves, breaking the illusion that the set is not real.
The grass is controlled to the extent that it could have been fake, so far away the smells and dirt. Televised, literally 'seen from afar'.
No lawn greener than a golf course in the desert.
There are allusions to landscape: hills, sand dunes, patches of trees. But there's no illusion made.
The grass is a sports pitch, a rolled out augmented reality mat for games and anonymous meetings.
Persian carpets mirror garden plans, but mostly as a map or a screenshot. Within the actual garden, the lines drawn are just the stage on which blooming can happen.
There's a combination between functionality with irrigation channels, and symmetry, a kind of technical aesthetics. Landscape seems far away.
The edges are more rough than the Victorian garden, fat brick marked fields of slight (if often homogenous) chaos.
There is the fantasy of creating the jungle. Of building an arrangement of plants wild enough to create a sense of surprise.
I think it's close to my ideal garden. Of course its planted at first, but it only fully gets there when it grows beyond the plan.
It may look effortless but my first concern would be keeping the plants alive. I realise that I presume that it would exist in the Netherlands. If so, it could only ever exist as a well-tended vignette.
But let me choose to imagine it in Sicily. Less control, less care?
Some Wise Man might have said, if you want to assert your will over the world, first clean your lawn.
A blank slate, but also a place to host. BBQ, badminton, somersaults, a private camping, an outdoor green-carpetted room.
It sucks water and spits sprouts, turns yellow and melts into mud. A flat-laid weather report. It's just that when work is done, laying down, bare feet through the leaves, that distance dissolves.
The small gardens around Medieval English cottages functioned first to feed the appetite of their caretakers. Later they fulfilled the romantic aesthetic longing of a return to nature. They became an #aesthetic.
Opposed to the imposed 'carpet bedding' order of Victorian gardens, cottage style offered informality and density. It's Romantic and Arts & Crafts – just like cottagecore.
Cottage gardens capture a design paradox. How to make something wild? Natural even? Mixing plants helps give a 'casual' feel.
One famous follower of the trend was Claude Monet with his Giverny garden, and that's how it turned back into art.
Through the Moon Gate, a Borrowed View, a pond with Mandarin Ducks and a Scholar Stone. Things are named, which suggests things are placed.
The Chinese garden felt chaotic to westeners. There is no overview, you only see parts at a time. Still these views are carefully crafted.
The kind of craft is specific though. It's not so much based on creation, but more on curation. Using found 'scholar' stones, borrowing views from outside the garden, embedding seasonal fragrants into the design and names of pavilions.
Construction sites often turn into unintended scenes of urban rewilding. In between concrete slabs and drainage pipes, a blossoming bouquet of plants usually considered weeds.
This was the model and aesthetic for The New Garden of the Nieuwe Instituut in Rotterdam. As far as design goes, Hans Engelbrecht and Frank Bruggeman introduced some building materials and sand heaps in 2015, and plants did the rest.
In a few years, the garden was filled with a wild range of plants. So wild it invited illicit encounters between those who dwell well when hidden from sight. Reason enough for the municipality to start weeding out.
Local subtropical species in wild beds with original Florida sand. This is getting close to the Hockney painting. An original personal paradise by Raymond Jungles.
Perhaps to increase the perception of wilderness by contrast, Raymond introduced some concrete monoliths. They work for me. Especially with that soft crisp sand.
The Casa Morada is a luxury hotel. Perhaps it says something about the personal jungle dream. It's not very affordable to have a worry-free jungle experience. The best service remains invisible.
When the Planergruppe designed the landscape of a derrilict old coal mine, they must have already found a landscape of post-industrial plants.
Zollverein was once Europe largest coal mine. Like other sites at the end of the industrial world, things grow. The Planergruppe tried to keep much of that, but added paths for humans to re-enter.
There's something about the geometric paths following the old train tracks that I like. Honest, literally juxtaposing wildflowers and pedestrians. I just don't know if all insects can cross the conrete slabs.
Holding a plant in transit in between two places where it can live or on its way to the bin.
The engagement is strong, skin to soil, wood to flesh even, but so is the hierarchy. The livelihood of the plant resting on the palm of your hand.
I just feel a slice of doubt when looking at the wrist, which makes the hand look less like something that controls than something cut off.
Not sure if these hands actually hold or cherish or are just not sure why?
There is the involvement of a parent letting their kid balance. No touch but full attention.
Quite trustful, if it wasn't for the implication in the scaling that a pair of human hands could carry the earth if it would tip out of balance. Assuming a parental role admits some hubris.
Fingers squeezed together, don't let this one slip!
There's care in the carefulness required for this manouvre, also manifest in the commitment of assigning both hands to the task of carrying the plant.
While this compromises human agency somewhat, the plant is still fully dependent on the human performing their care role well.
Plus, involvement with the soil may not translate in engagement with the plant, it may even distract.
Look how it moves!
Is wonder a mode of engagement? Perhaps but it may be a bit consumptive. Like letting a site of Wilderness blow fresh life in your face. Still, it is appreciative.
The hands seem soft. No intention of crushing, plucking or otherwise hurting the plant. They respond.
The hands form a bowl wrapping the globe just over half from below. As they find it cute.
A planet represented by its meridians is like a body represented by its weight. Perhaps the meridians are more a representation of the system of measurement itself. The care less for the planet, and more for the systems to manage it.
In any case, plants are far away, both from the relation and from power.
There is the moment of departure, and the moment of reckoning. You let it fly away, and now what?
The planet seems far away to me, it could be a tourist doing a Tower of Pisa pose on the Moon.
But I prefer a parental reading. The hands, still warm, left held up in wonder, to see the planet fly on its own. Why did it have to leave now? Or, whatever, it's too late now. The World is free and so be it.
Maybe this is when stepping back is the most caring.
There is the glaring absense of plants, but also of hubris.
I always feel that the nihilist retreat is cowardice at best, and self-evasive at worst. But I'm a nerd.
What is cool about the cool is the generousity in the space it makes. Space to be unbothered, free in the American dream and the land of any origin story. The generousity of the challenge to figure it out, to play.
What's a cool caring? #dadquestions
It seems to capture some sort of dream. Of earth as a nutritious pure and rich ball of wet soil that can ground and nurture a seed into a tree. Air must be jealous, that ever-present thing we can't see.
So, while nature is presented, it feels distant, represented as a self-sustaining system best left on its own.
There's a trust in that, sure, but it feels like we're off the hook a little too easily, under the guise of being very concerned with the matter.
A seemingly solemn flower or sun, doing its own thing. I'm reading into it an energy journey from sun to leaf to fossil, but only because I know BP.
Naturalisation, not just as attaching images used to depict nature (which it does), but ask making a practice seem normal, or natural.
There's a trust in the hope that natural equates good. But still, there's no flower this geometric. And apart from that no humans in sight.
There's the idea of a lone tree. They happen, they haven't got many others to talk through on mycelium internet, so often it's just stage one of a forest.
In this logo it's conifer is centered also as a symbol, of course, in the middle of a dial, as framed by crosshairs or a round window.
The circle is not just isolating though, it also feels caring in a way, held safe in a snow globe. But mostly isolating and strictly kept triangular.
I shouldn't get too biased by the sympathy of the company. Sure this looks like a warm hug by a fiery fox. But both fox and earth are not carethings here.
First, I shouldn't identify myself with the fox. Sure the fox would guide me through the World Wide Web, but it's not me. Apart from hugging it's also just territorially fencing off its play ball (way to small for an earth really).
Second, even if there is some warm fox-earth interaction here but we're outside observers. On the moon perhaps.
A kind of wavy halftone stripe style that was quite popular in corporate tech in the eighties (?), forming a globe.
Stripes suggest speed. The toning now mostly suggest a lighter and darker side of the ball. Is it even an earth? A perfect sphere, spinning.
For some reason we are looking down on the ball, at least in relation to the spin of its stripes. This is the Blue Marble perspective.
Wheat belongs to the family of grasses, which only really took off after the dinosaurs, to become the primary source of nutrition for humankind.
There's some humility in the earth being held or held together by an acknowledgement of these plants.
The particular projection from the north pole has the effect of enlarging the Global South, which is a bit emancipatory, even when projected onto a strict maritime compass grid.
I used to be quite confused about the color of clouds as a kid, because we used to draw them in blue. Then I learned they are white, but then they are sometimes still blue-ish.
Anyways, the cloud-service logos often commit similar aesthetic crimes, just projecting clouds as blue.
Mostly, they reduced the cloud shape to a collection of perfect circles in golden ratios. Is it light or heavy?
Canada's national symbol was based on vegetation, one of the most common plants found. The air travel company altered the maple leaf slightly, giving it five distinct 'fingers' like a hand.
Why is the circle not closed? I don't think it's shading, that would make the leaf's stalk too wide. So perhaps it's a flight, around the world.
Anchoring yourself in native nature is something that seems both grounded and aloof, on ceded lands from native people.
The strange thing about the Panam logo is that the lines are curved in an inverse way. It looks less like a globe than a basketball.
That is, unless we imagine ourselves being inside the globe looking out. Then, the lines would be similar to Panam. Perhaps like those ball turrets of old war planes.
Not sure, but not careful either. What to expect, other than glossing earth as a trottable globe, as if your next destination is just an arm's lenght away.
A collection of icons and logos that show a certain connection between humans and plants.
I think that many of them are meant to communicate a caring relationship, although there are also icons that rather seem to communicate distance or powerlessness, at least to me.
Still, a caring or engaged relation can sometimes also be a controlling one. The hand that supports may also limit how the plant can move.
In the end I'm looking for aesthetics that suggest (and through it, make) a caring but trusting relationship between humans and plans.
Learning from the logos that gives me a few things to keep in mind:
In Shire-like houses, the garden is on top of the house, the house slid under the carpet.
It's quite a humble position, being a pedastal and nurturing ground, an overgrown plant pot. It will probably also feel safe, mole-like. Letting the plants do their thing.
At the same time, you can't really see the garden from the window anymore. Still engagement has to be up to a level because the humans living there are codependent on the plants to have a roof over their head.
In the "winter garden" of Villa Tugendhat, a modernist architectural icon, the plants live inside a sort of widened double-glass window.
It looks pretty, but behind the glass it feels a bit like a television alive. The plants are neatly kept off the spotless floors, and from human skin. I wonder if you can smell them.
It looks relatively wild, compared to a usual house plant setup. Still, I don't fully trust it. Its perceived wilderness is probably enhanced by being framed in a meticulously ordered environment. It's contained.
In the romantic end of it all, plants grow over houses until it's hard to say where rock ends and brick begins.
There's still a llittle house in the painting, which reminds me of a Tarkovsky shot of the wooden house in cathedral ruins in Nostalghia. Like a phoenix, or a new sprout, it both emphasises the age and the size of the elder.
The house was not really cared for, nor were the plants. But they do grow freely.
The Babylonian vertical gardens were quite horizontal for todays standards, but definitely entice a paradise lost feeling in me. Some aesthetic of harmonious living together, even if I'm not too sure if the marble could withhold the roots over time.
Unlike the Hobbit houses, here you regard and wade through the greenery when going about your daily life (I imagine). And unlike today's balconies, these provided the space to grow to romantic dimensions.
Is it the temporal distance that allows my nostalgia to not associate it with contemporary green architecture?
The patio of a Roman villa, with it's minimal open roof, is the last stage between garden and house-plants.
The Roman Villa hugs the plants with its walls. How care balances between a cover and a squeeze.
I see a middle stage in the progression towards full enclosure. There is still open air and plants are still the tallest here.
There is care, even without distraction of the views of others, just your own. Still there are clear constraints to the level of wilderniss.
In a serre, somewhere between an orangerie and room, plants could make a bit of a mess.
Rather than the Tugendhil double glass slice of plants, humans have a place (and a seat) in the serre. The glass ceiling grants both kinds of organisms the pleasure of sunlight, while the tiled floor welcomes them both to relax.
I feel we're close here. There's codependency, a micro ecos. I feel warned about how my inner nostalgia may try to distance this from Biosphere 2. There is though. The Serre does not have autonomous pretensions, it's next to a house!
An empty loft feels extra empty after we moved on from pre-Victorian houses without plants. Some plants would compensate the negative emptiness.
That may be a general rule, because this space – especially in this place – feels very lonely. I think this loneliness is also luring, but not as much as with a few plants.
Empty as this is as clean as a Tugendhill house in a Tati film. Perhaps it also feels ready to put a desk in because of the absence of greenery. It must have been kept well to ward of molds and lichens attracted by the moist of a building left to its own. Care as a silent killer.
Victorian trends made plants decorative. Who needs curtains when plants can fill the space left by the walls?
Unlike curtains, these plants are not to look through only, even though they also frame the view.They sit and hang waterable, on arm-length distance.
Within bounds, within arrangements, within there frame, there's space to hang and tangle. It's a staged play but a play indeed.
What do you see in the image? Not much? Jungle-native Monstera Deliciosas held captive?
To me, the items in the room have become so generic that they start to meld with the category of room, to the extent that it still feels quite empty. Ready to be rented out empty.
There's something with the lush shapes of the plants contrasting, emphasising the clean lines of the new floor and old windows. Still, this relative wilderness does not know yellow. The care was silent and strict.
Very close but separate. A green buffer just planted just before. Sometimes like a display, sometimes like a mini paradise, sometimes like a wall.
Any care practiced at the front garden is infused with biopower's self-surveillance. What will the neighbours think? And, importantly, what will I allow the neighbours to see, both in front of the window and behind?
I want one. I'll have to deal with these incentives to control it. But I'll gladly take up the care.
The tulip is the product of an idea of nature as a source of beauty. The Tulip bulb crash in the seventeenth century was a reminder that beauty does not always last.
I think that beauty as a lens aligns with Morton's Authentic Style of thinking ecology. This centers the experience of nature, the unmediated access to its wilderness.
There's a funny tension when this wilderness is cultivated in machinated landscapes. It's almost smart. But it doesn't acknowledge that nature described is always tamed, and that the describer is never innocent. 'Authenticity' kills the drama. It misses how being ecological has to include your perspective.
We're always already nature. Everything is connected, like the mycelium 'internet of the forest' and all the critical text that use the metaphor of this 'rhizome' to explain that everything is connected.
This links with a style of thinking that Morton wishes to see. One that goes beyond fatalism, because that's too soon as long as we can even consider it a choice, as long as I am here thinking and writing.
In a functional idea of nature, all non-human organisms are there primarily as a potential resource. (Still running through a cornfield feels romantic.)
Morton sees this reflected in an Efficient Style of thinking ecology.
Nature as wild and untamed, in opposition to human artifice, and most importantly, way bigger and sublime. This view feels like it deifies nature but negates humans, as if we're not a part of it, only through being blown away by it.
Part of this echoes in romantic writing, but when done well this would not fall under Morton's Authentic Style. And even when done well, there is a risk of falling into the Religious Style.
Sublime nature may suddenly elevate your experience so much that you start looking down on the fallible and godless creatures that are your fellow humans. Misanthropocentrism, Morton calls it.
Growing up in the Netherlands may have made me default to a view of nature as something made, or at least 'kept'. The human in the role of the steward, taking care of nature as of a garden the size of the planet. I'm not sure again, it feels hierarchical, too comfortable to assume the position of the one giving rather than needing care.
Here we find an ecology in Morton's Immersive Style. Nature as a thing to surround ourselves with, still presumes that we aren't already.
Morton notes how many ways of talking about the environment seem anchored in the idea of a settlement or house. This fixed location is from where nature seems to happen 'around'. Think 'surroundings', 'en-viron', 'ambi-ence'. There may be care but no trust
A collection of ways of understanding what 'nature' means. It is based on views of nature that have been popular in Western culture. It also aligns very closely with Timothy Morton's distinction of different styles of thinking about ecology.
An Immersive Style pictures an 'environment' around but outside oneself. An Authentic style aims for unmediated experience, but forgets the gaze. A Religious style acknowledges how things are complicit, but not itself. An Efficient style aims for smooth operations but forgets what is smoothened out.
I'm looking for a way or style of thinking 'nature' that starts from acknowledging how we are intertwined, but that still leaves space for humans (because I am one).
"where good and evil are pitted against each other and forces of light struggle against the forces of darkness" (Macy).
In the Blue Marble, Earth is not only presented as vulnerable (to some it's like looking back from afar and feeling homesick), but also as holdable. As finite. As potential territory.
It admits familiar textures of clouds and waters, fractally scaled up to unimaginable scales, but divorced from how those waves feel, sound, smell, and shake you.
"mind is seen as higher than nature, and spirit is set over and above the flesh" (Macy).
For Timothy Morton, the pale blue dot image symbolised a Religious Style that located evil in a specific pixel. A similar bifurcation happens in Macy.
From the platonic idea of an ideal realm hovering over those of the senses to a hesitation to engage with the market. Vile and corrupted, that there. Unlike me here.
Strong engagement, but strong distance. Even though the danger is too strong for the vile to be contained so neatly, the desire is pure.
"an essential and life-giving partner. From the curve of the cosmos to the spinning of atoms, the universe engages in a dance of mutual allurement." (Macy).
Akin to the ambitions of Morton's Authentic nature writers, there's a peace in finding ways to attune to the experience of the world, or what Macy calls "erotic affirmation of the world of phenomena".
Perversion may not be strange but maybe when unacknowledged. When eroticism ignites exoticism, others the world, the pleasure becomes consumptive.
"We are the world knowing itself" (Macy).
What I find hard with such affirmations of oneness and intrinsic connectedness and all is that they can start to feel meaningless really quickly. Sure ontologically yes, but so what?
Macy does appreciate difference, noting "we don’t have to surrender our individuality to experience the world as an extended self and its story as our own extended story."
That's why a selfie from space is not necessarily just affirming difference, or separation, I think. It also suggests, through image-rhyme, a connection. Do you see the similarity? The kinship?
All that is waste turns into food is generally true in Nature but not always in Gardens until the Compost Heap. This is a portable version of this magical machine. Leaves in compost out.
So yes, plastic, but it is a tool that implicates humans directly in the metabolism of plants. And when they throw in food waste and grow tomatoes - even their own metabolism!
A doormat is the functional condition for the door. Letting the outside in can only happen when there is a difference between out and in. When the outside doesn't spill in. Otherwise it would just be a 'gate'.
So the mat makes the Dirt when it catches it. Before that, it was just soil. This is typical puritan care. Yes it keeps the house clean, but only if you accept a clean that means alife exclusive to humans.
Its controlling intent is slightly compromised by its flaw-friendly functioning, that depends on deliberate human wiping effort.
The morning dew inside. What not to love? If plants are anything like humans in summer, the cool mist of a spray can must feel like oxygen.
The difference with a watering can is that the course of water is both unfocused and co-dependent the whims of the wind, like an airbrush on max width. There's little control to be exercised, it's a more-or-less rough outlining of the plant in a cloud of mist.
Originally plant pots were a solution to the problem of moving plants. They are a biomaterial shipping container. The slightly porous terracotta kept soil in while regulating water and air flows.
Still, porous as they seem, plant pots perform a very deep intervention. They isolate a plant from its environment, rendering it as an individual. Divorced from the culture it inhabited, it has to reroot in a different place, perhaps even the pot, placed in a white-walled rectangular space.
Pots center plants, also for human care, but in a way that cuts them off of pre-existing care.
Take a walk, pick a flower, bring it home, wrap it in sheets and squeeze it tight. Some moments later, time has stopped in a beautifully kept image of a flattened flower.
As a didactic technique it does invite children to pay attention to the foliage around them. To see their beauty. (before capturing that beauty by cutting it off and squeezing it dead) Tamed.
A falling in love that ends tragically with the destructive stalking of an undeath lover. It's a memory, but that is why it distances from the now.
Giving your plants their vitamin dose, the minerals they need to grow. It seems a classic caretaking gesture. The problem is not in the fertilising (at least when done organically).
You can only fertilise what is otherwise infertile. And things aren't so much infertile as made infertile, depleted. Usually it seems there would be a 'natural circle of life' that would enrich the soil with the recomposed corpses of the past generation.
Shit. Also in that shape. So yes fertiliser cares but by creating the conditions for isolation.
Maybe it's true that caring means killing (losely to Donna Haraway), but even or especially then it's about killing well.
Bio Kill seems an easy enemy, but it is apparently specifically focused, on ants. Does that make it different from weeding?
Yes, where some plants-made-weeds may actually compete with other 'wanted' plants, ants don't. The Bio Kill approach seems to be more about isolating a plant from ecology.
Even though soil seems to form a continuous substance with the rest of Earth, spades can puncture it and make it manipulable. Like a mini mine. Digging as the condition for taking out (and putting in).
Still, the intention is always that the roots will puncture the walls of division the spade created. A temporary chasm, break. Almost a challenge, if it wasn't for the other motivation of just changing the location.
The spade created the Plant that Moves. That is moved, more acurately: the Portable Plant.
Here! Is where I help you. Is where I want you. Is where I want you to grow.
I learned once that leading the dance in salsa is succesful when making the follower shine. The plant clip may try something similar, holding the plant up to great heights.
But that it looks nice doesn't make it less hierarchical. Perhaps when shining so bright that the pop stars get the praise instead of the ghost writers and managers, the hierarchy feels resolved, but there are ways of supporting that don't steer this much.
If trustful care would be about creating a support structure this may be the most obvious examble. Rather than a clip it provides a possibility, a potential.
Rather than scaffolding, it is to be surrounded. In Dutch its called the same as the playground equipment that allows kids to climb.
This particular one however creates a new problem. If a life support is made from fake or death plants, whom does it help?
More aggressive even than pesticide, perhaps because the burn is so clear, the blurred focus that always has to kill more than it wants to, the inherent, calculated casualties.
What bright can we see? Perhaps that the destruction I see is coloured by my association between dark and death, rather than the fertile soil that volcanic ash would be.
But it feels nice to have a clear evil enemy.
This is an advanced model of an analog camera, almost digital. But what it still does well is frame whatever shot in a romantic light.
Film grain is a window, it frames a view by introducing a certain distance, like squinting your eyes. As if what's left out opens space for projection.
But it doesn't only leave out, it fills in with age, with nostalgia. Before the background blur, a soft pink rose.