Survey seed and monitor

From Seed-Bombing to Remote Sensing


Survey, Seed, and Monitor: From Seed-Bombing to Remote Sensing

Wednesday 17 March, 2021 – Wednesday 17 March, 2021
5:30 PM – 6:30 PM


Professor Jussi Parikka (University of Southampton, UK, and Academy of Performing Arts, Prague) will discuss the work-in-progress research on “vegetal images” as an entry point to an alternative history of visual culture and photography. Drawing on his collaborations with Abelardo Gil-Fournier, he will address how the project develops a genealogy of energetic and material forms of images that emerge in contexts of plant research since approximately in the 1850s. Thus, we turn to plants, but not only in the broader philosophical sense of years of discussions (see e.g. Marder 2013; Coccia 2018; Aloi 2019), but in contexts of research in modern history of sciences, experimental practices, and modelling.

This work is part of the larger Operational Images project, which also prompts us to consider the concept (operational and instrumental images) in relation to environmental humanities, including addressing techniques of remote sensing, aerial vision, and vegetal surfaces. While these relate to current forms of earth observation and thus to core questions about contemporary forms of control and governance through environmental monitoring, Prof Parikka also offers a speculative history to accompany the talk: a short video essay on media technologies of air, seeding, and agricultural surfaces as image surfaces for operational procedures.

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