Seed (2010)

Sculpture; painted timber, fluorescent lighting, plastic
sheeting, soil, grass seed.
2 flags, artist made; fabrics, timber, bronzing rods.
Digital video, 7 mins 43 secs.
7 maps; carbon on paper, framed.
Mountain bike

“The inventor of the term terraforming was Jack Williamson, in a series of stories he wrote in the early 1940s which were collected under the title of Seetee Ship in 1951(the word’s first appearance was, I’m told, in Collision Ship in 1942, though I’ve not been able to verify this; Seetee is a phonetic transcription of CT, standing for contraterrene, another compound of terra that was once another word for antimatter). Terraforming is now in much the same class as controlled nuclear fusion, as an idea which has not yet been brought to practicality, but about which there is a mass of research material. The scale of the project is such that fusion is likely to win by a big margin, but experts seem to feel that the fundamental problems are largely solved. It has yet to be decided whether it would be mankind’s biggest adventure yet, an insupportable waste of scarce resources, or the unforgivable rape of another world.”
- Michael Quinion, 1997

Seed is a body of work that was untaken during a residency at the Toilet Gallery, Kingston upon Thames, Surrey. It came about from an investigation of the obsolete semaphore telegraph communication network that ran through the Kingston area from Whitehall to Portsmouth in the 18th and 19th century. Any material evidence of the early network has largely disappeared, but is presence does survive in some areas as place names; Telegraph Hill, Semaphore House, etc. The work questions if this invisible legacy of a defunct technology could be considered as a work of Land Art, with its geographic and topological character giving it a conception as a piece of bio-technology, and how an art-technology can manifest a process of terraformation of the landscape.