Seed, Image, Ground

Abelardo Gil-Fournier and Jussi Parikka. 2020. Video essay Seed, Image, Ground.

Seed, Image, Ground works with selected promotional images and videos related to seed bombing – a technique used in forestry, agriculture and environmental restoration where biodegradable containers filled with seeds and soil nutrients are dropped from flying aircrafts to the ground. Originally conceived by an RAF pilot after WW2, this technique has been fostered during the last decade, closely linked to the increased deployment of robotic aerial vehicles in environmental monitoring. The commissioned video essay by the media theorist Jussi Parikka and the artist and researcher Abelardo Gil-Fournier investigates the link between seeds, aerial operations, photographic images and the transformation of earth surfaces into data. It demonstrates how the history of botanic knowledge and visual surveys of green surfaces is a history of images, and as such, a history of circulation, speed and motorised aircraft. Seed, Image, Ground addresses the convergence of the military complex and the cultivation of our environment: From metaphors of war to guerrilla farming, from agricultural techniques and reforesting to the automation of airspace and environmental management, the observation of growth of vegetal surfaces unveils connections to parallel histories of the logistics of military perception.

Sound design by María Andueza Olmedo. Research for the video essay was supported by the project Operational Images and Visual Culture, situated at the department of Photography at the Academy of Performing Arts, Prague. The project is funded by Czech Science Foundation project 19-26865X.

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Categorized as Interviews