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Decoys and Dispersals

The story of this vessel stems from cultures of agriculture and foraging through history. Seeds inherit a complexity of forms and layering. These tend to influence their movements and spreading. The dispersal of seeds from their origin takes a range of forms. Sometimes through wind, water or animals. Other times through human interaction.

In the mid 1800s Jean Francois Millet illustrated agricultural, rural lifestyles, depicting the hardships of peasant life. This often displayed relationships between humans and nature with the tension of manual labor. It included picking weeds, harvesting and the sowing of seeds through out the fields.
The processes were often aided with personal worn satchels or containers to disperse across vast areas.

Rewinding to period of BC years, we focus on a particular type of terra cotta vessel, referred to by the ancient greeks as the askos. Askos, which translated to tube, is a pottery vessel used to pour small controlled amounts of viscous liquids for ceremonial purposes. Sometimes, this includes an integrated colander within it’s walls.

The Babylonian Rewilding Askos was found with traces of cardomom shells and seeds. The chambers were used for the collection and foraging of seeds with tough shells. These were shaken to deshell the seeds and start scarification.

In his series using macro photography, Karl Blossfeldt beautifully represents the otherworldliness quality of seeds and the capsules that protect them. The Papaver, commonly known as Poppy makes an appearance several times in this series as it does in numerous points on history.

The plant has caused provocation through several points in history
In the 1800s in China, British colonial activity around the commodity
escalated to the point of causing a war.

Poppy also stands as a symbol memorializing the world war.

And still today, in Afghanistan the plant has been instrumental in military dynamics and the fought nation’s economic output.

The plant is charged in multiple directions, causing it’s trade to have been prohibited across multiple territories.

The carved silo is a hidden host for the trade of poppy, a decoy amongst other grains in various chambers.

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