Seedbombing, or aerial reforestation, refers to the practice of introducing vegetation to land by throwing or dropping compressed bundles of soil containing live vegetation (seed balls). Undertaken with the goal of re-naturalizing barren or ecologically underutilized land, seedbombing is an ecological practice for reviving urban environments.
Seedbomb Burlington is a place-specific project intended to provide people with skills and knowledge for remapping, reimagining, and rewilding their city through the practice of site-specific seeding with ecologically appropriate plants. It is a project of social and ecological reclamation and information dispersal, involving seeds, soil, boots, bikes, vacant landscapes, maps and smart phones, social and locative media, and time, gentle time.
As shown in Richard Maxwell’s and Toby Miller’s book Greening the Media, information and communication technologies are not ecologically benign. They leave behind plenty of residues — mountains of waste, toxic by-products that affect workers and consumers, and much else — and rearrange the materiality of the world in so many ways.
We are taking this week off from new readings. Instead the class is concentrating on critical analysis assignments and presentations.
Two of these — one on Banksy and the Critical Art Ensemble, the other on Greenpeace and the movement against the Keystone XL pipeline — were presented in class this past week. We are planning to present the remainder in next week’s class. We will also discuss how and what to share online from these analyses, and what form our final applied media projects will take.
Marshall McLuhan argued that the world was becoming a “global village.” For the theorists we are examining this week, the world has certainly become global, but it is less a village — which implies a stability and a taken-for-grantedness of “what’s what” and “who’s who” — than it is a tempest or a whirlwind. It is a world of ceaseless flux, flow, and modulation, a world of interconnected networks within which we might not know who we ourselves are, let alone who others are.
As we continue reading Gilbert’s Anticapitalism and Culture, we are attempting to deepen our understanding how political-economic changes affect the cultural conditions for social (and environmental) change.
Much of this entry will review the political-economic shifts we examined in class this past week. For those who’d like to review any of the videos we watched (or who were not in class), I’m including links to the videos and to further readings. Specific pointers on this week’s Gilbert readings are presented below.