Fieldwork is a collaboration between Emily Drury, a gardener & an artist with a background in anthropologist and Jan Mun, a media artist working with living organisms.

Fieldwork: Seed Dispersal

Fieldwork: Seed Dispersal is a collaborative project that begins with an examination of the technologies and mechanisms that plants use for biological survival through the dispersal of their seeds.  The urban ecosystems of New York City will provide a stage for this examination of the intersecting movements of plants and people.  The cultural, economic and political valuing of plants and their propagation will be unpacked in curated and spontaneous environments, including community gardens, botanical gardens, parks, vacant lots, and weedscapes.  Developing plant scores, informed by these spaces, and grounded in improvisational dance practice, will be a key element of creative collaborative process.

Plant scores are sets of instructions based on participant observation (walking, looking, tasting, smelling, touching, listening, etc.) in the curated and spontaneous environments described above. As collaborators, we will develop and perform these scores as a way to produce and exchange knowledge. In addition to developing a vocabulary of movement, we will examine language with legal or exclusionary implications that is used to describe both plants and people to control their movements (native, non-native, invasive, exotic).   Our collaborative process will also include research on the histories of plant collecting as a political and economic project, specifically at the Brooklyn and New York Botanical Gardens.  We are also interested in the particular stories of plants and people that inform the cultural valuing and preservation of species and communities.

Fieldwork: Seed Dispersal public and community engagements might include open-ended participatory performances and events that engage and connect communities of plants and people in new ways, mapping related human and plant interaction and movement; creating, exchanging and performing plant scores; celebrations of underappreciated plants and landscapes; publications and field guides; collaborative crafting of geotextiles; and seed saving and exchange.

© Copyright Jan Mun