In this video Pat Badani discusses her project ©Al Grano: "Crop Cropping" during the Eco-Activism session at ISEA2013 (International Symposium on Electronic Art.) This session was part of the Sub-themes: Ecologies and Technologies. Artists & researchers inspected the interrelationship of nature, culture and technology at the centre-stage of contemporary life. ISEA2013 explored technology as both the problem and solution, celebrating the role of the artist as innovator and provocateur. ISEA2013 engaged questions of urban ecologies, consumption, food, climate, and sustainability.
©Al Grano: “Crop-Cropping” plays with the words "crop" and "cropping" used in agricultural and in digital art practices. The project juxtaposes both Mayan and electronic codes, and furthermore references Latin American literature (Men of Maize) to address the murky debates between Mexico and the U.S.A. concerning GM maize seed.
“Crop-Cropping” is designed for touch-sensitive screens (smart phones and tablets.) It can be accessed via an Augmented Reality App. Foodstuffs in U.S.A. supermarkets containing GM corn, are tagged portals to vision-based augmented reality layers of digital content about maize. The AR layers unfold onto an interactive piece with a pictographic interface inspired by Maya logograms. Here you can interact with ideas about the past, the present and the future of maize, all by using your fingers in small gestures: Tap - Pinch - Swipe - Zoom.
In the AR piece Badani focuses on the gap between seen and unseen realities in what we shop for and eat in the USA. In the interactive App she highlights the disassociation between cultures and cultural production in continental America; the tensions and gaps in what everyone claims to know, and the existence of glitches in knowledge systems.
Maize is a means for Badani to address the latent erasure of native seeds and of ecosystems, and also the processes of translation, interpretation, juxtaposition, erosion and disappearance of national and continental narratives about maize as food, and equally as cultural symbol.
Chris Wille: Augmented Reality Research collaborator
Ozgun Ozguc: Android and iOS programmer
The project is supported by the "Robert Heinecken Trust Fund"