Soil and Sail Scenarios for Makery

When the invitation arrived to speak at the Soil Assembly event at the Kochi Biennale in February this year, we thought it was a bit of a strange match. Talking about clean cargo in the context of soil; agricultural projects and soil rejuvenation, permaculture and the circular economy merging to become something called permacircularity. But we said yes, because these are interesting conversations themselves.

The conversation took on its own momentum, carrying on in (too?) many directions. This is perhaps the quality of a good conversation but it is also problematic in a time limited format. People need to be elsewhere. But want to keep listening. Perhaps they left too early and missed the important details; perhaps we missed their even more important questions and comments.

We reflected upon this talk and some of the emerging thoughts in the loose diary, then were requested by Makery magazine to put together an article about the resulting thoughts and connections. With too many other things going on, the article kept growing new connections, from historical traces to the systems sciences of the soil food web, post colonial thinking about the spice trade and imaginations of possible and preferable futures.

We finally gave up editing and published the second of the two articles this week. The first came out two weeks ago. We are not sure where they intertwine and where they will continue to weave their tendrils and tentacles, but look forward to carrying on thinking about the options and paths that they open up.

This research is part of Curiouser and Curiouser, cried Alice: Rebuilding Janus from Cassandra and Pollyanna (CCA), an art-based research project of Design Investigations (ID2) at the University of Applied Arts Vienna and Time’s Up, supported by the Programme for Arts-based Research (PEEK) on the part of the Austrian Science Fund (FWF): AR561. All Time’s Up activities are also kindly supported by Bundesministerium Kunst, Kultur, öffentlicher Dienst und Sport BMKOES, Linz Kultur, Land OÖ & Linz AG.

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