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GALLERY 2014

mobilization

SeedBroadcast

Webpage


Description of campaign/project


Technology and seeds have long been intertwined in a complex field of relations. Throughout history plants have cycled from seed to seed and humans have interjected their desire to be a part of this process, selecting, storing, and growing out these plants year after year for millennia. This encoded technology of relations was fed with an intention towards care and resiliency to nurture not only people, but also a polyculture community of the familiar. Relatively recently this intention has shifted towards engineering botanical processes to build mono-agricultural empires, create populations of dependent passivity, and dominate the more than human.

Since 2011, SeedBroadcast has been examining these territories through performative engagements as artists, farmers, gardeners, teachers, and collective operatives, while rethinking the term agri-Culture. Project concepts and methodologies are founded in a space of the grassroots, where culture, creativity, collaboration, and agency are coupled with open source technology, seeds, agro-ecology, rhizomatic networks, and most importantly the stories that bring these all together.


SeedBroadcast deploys a broad approach to open-pollinating networks with seedy action. We mix and match digital media such as text, image, sound, video with heterogeneous mobile internet processes such as social media, blogging, and a project website with diverse original and pirated resources. A biannual agri-Culture Journal is published as a collection of personal manifestos from individuals across the world. This is distributed for free in both digital and old-school broadsheet form. These media rich environments allow us to be in multiple places at once and replicate connectivity across diverse environments and social conditions to counter the homogenization of monocultural industrialism and corporate patent regimes.

These applications expand beyond the domain of binary code to make contact with the grassroots via the Mobile Seed Story Broadcasting Station, an old bread truck that has been retro-fitted into a solar-powered, seed story shout-out vehicle. The Broadcasting Station houses several multi-media systems for projecting seed stories in the public: exterior speakers, interior tablets, and video monitors. It also has an interactive bulletin board and copy center, which people can use for free to collect and disperse seed information. The bulletin board also acts as a display area where participants can post drawings, writings, thoughts, and pictures of their own. A library of books is available about seed saving, agri-culture, and seed freedom. Seeds are on display for people to look at, touch, and listen to. These seeds of radical technology are free to take home, grow-out, replicate, and share with others. The Broadcasting Station is also a literal recording station and editing suite for recording and broadcasting seed stories to make heard the voices of the commons.


When discussing communication it is essential to remember that language is not only inherent in the human constructs of code, utterances, and the act of listening; it is also manifest in the relational history and agency of ecological interaction. This is not a top down approach to mere information dispersal, but a transformational act complexly shifting the living patterns between things. This is the unfolding life-line of people and seeds.

Our hope is to create a space for these diverse grassroots patterns to come to fruition and conflate, contradict, and decodify current power structures to cultivate the possibility for caring criticality through creative knowledge building and radical action.


Since its inception, we as a collective, have learned and continue to learn to be generous, resilient, stubborn, and to keep moving. All of our projects will continue to change and respond to situational crisis, others' needs, and our own creative modus operandi. It is rhizomatic.

Curators comments More info on Curators & Editors ›

First off, I'd like to say that I appreciate the issue you have chosen to work on and the approach you are bringing to it. At a time when we need to recover and rediscover the proper balance in our production and consumption habits, a balance needed if we want to save our planet and our civilization from collapse, a counter-industrial back to basics strategy makes a lot of sense!

I also like how this project taps into existing wisdom across the country and seeks to elicit, compile and re-broadcast this collective wisdom to larger audiences. This is an approach that inherently respects the knowledge and agency of the participants it interacts with and therefore fits quite nicely into the theme of the Beyond category.

One of the problems I had in evaluating this submission properly was the multi-faceted nature of the project, which is actually an amalgam of separate initiatives. I find it easier to critically interact with a single project and therefore will confine my deeper questions to the Mobile Seed Story Broadcasting Station, which best fits the guidelines of this category.

What I like about the Station is its savvy mix of old and new technologies deployed in the service of positive social change. Seed banks are nothing new, nor is the truck itself, but the wired station that archives and collects local material and voices and then connects and shares with communities it encounters along the way, is in itself a physical manifestation of social network culture but one rooted in shared purpose and practice, rather than digital ephemera.

Now, to drill down on the interactive and participatory component. I get that stories and seeds are being collected and I really enjoyed hearing the audio testimony gathered from local growers. I would like to know more about how people interacted with the displays and archived material you brought.

On the blog, I read about how excited kids when receiving seeds and how driven they were to run home and plant them. I would like to hear more impact stories, more detail on what kinds of behaviors this project sparked when the audience interacted with the content and each others stories. I say this because, without those elements brought more to the fore, the project presentation weighs heavily on the gathering and archival side of things. Since you have executed this now for some time, I am curious to hear about the transformative aspects and thoughts about changed attitudes and behaviors as a result.

View other works commented by Tom Liacas  ››

The connections between avant-gardening and networks always makes me happy. Something to do with the question of being "rooted" and "rhizomatic" at the same time.

View other works commented by Ricardo Dominguez  ››

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Curators comments

This work has been commented by 2 curator(s):
Tom Liacas Ricardo Dominguez go to comments ›

Entry details

Title

SeedBroadcast


Headline

SeedBroadcast


Concept author(s)

Jeanette Hart-Mann; Chrissie Orr


Concept author year(s) of birth

1973; 1950


Concept author(s) contribution

Collective Operatives and Founders


Country

United States of America


Competition category

mobilization


Competition field

nonacademic


Competition subfield

artist


Subfield description

Artist Collective. Engagement/Sites include Interventionist/Anywhere, Museums, Non-Profits, Schools, Streets, Fields, Gardens, Broadsheets, Internet.