Installation, dimensions variable, 2005. A collaboration with David Burns.
Corn is the plant most manipulated by humans, and Corn Study is an attempt to alter the course of our relationship to this species. While great effort has been put into human’s understanding of plants, their culture and genetic structure, very little has been expended to educate plants and teach them about the humans who seem to control their fate. Our installation creates a school for corn with unique pedagogic innovations. The plants are taught human psychology and sociology, the economics of commerce, important languages, current events and the history of colonialism. We considered teaching corn the history of its own species but realized this was foolish. Corn already knows itself, possessing an innate knowledge of botany, ecology, chemistry, and physics. In the future our curriculum may also address astrophysics for the eventuality of our species’ exodus from the planet we seem intent on ruining. Corn in some future form will no doubt accompany us to the stars.
For more information see the GardenLab site, an interview in We Make Money Not Art, and another in WorldChanging. Linda Weintraub devotes a chapter of her book ECOcentric Topics: Pioneering Themes for Eco-Art (ArtNow Publications, NY 2006) to Corn Study.