Three Propositions for Future Farming

The threat to agricultural diversity is a growing force. Climate change, natural disaster, and warfare have interrupted production, catalyzed research and redesigned farming techniques globally. Three Propositions for Future Farming examines the collision between humanity’s will to control and the mercurial ways of nature.

Embedded in three objects are three divergent agricultural futures, projected for 100 years from today. The objects are tools for action; instruments, weapons, and devices that enable humans to manipulate the environment on scales ranging from the plant to the atmospheric level. 

A hacked gene gun tells a tale of ecoterrorism, a speaker replaces chemical with sound for use as insecticide, and a small scale weather device enables the creation of crop protecting microclimates. Each object exists as an artifact within its respective future and is embedded with themes of contemporary discourse on topics affecting agricultural production including natural disaster and agricultural policy. Emerging scientific investigation in combination with social and environmental catastrophe bred three possible sociopolitical frameworks.

The futures are neither utopian nor dystopian. Regardless of intention the use of the objects has positive and negative consequences both foreseen and unexpected. The objects speak to the intimate and inextricable connectedness of the world’s ecological systems including the world’s species and the environments those species inhabit. Any intervention triggers a ripple within the system.

Discoveries and advancements reroute humanity’s course and introduce new future models before prophecies live to fruition. However, the importance in the exercise of projection is not in conjuring a perfect picture of tomorrow. It is an attempt at developing the adequate imagery to dream; to imagine the futures we wish to live in and to make decisions today to approach those visions. We must project both immediately and wildly; inside and outside the scope of our current realities. What must be the resonating message is the need to saturate the human imagination with an adequately vast visual language.