Thaw: beta

Thaw  addresses issues of contemporary agricultural practices involving cryogenic

preservation, genetic modification, and seed archiving. Creating an immersive environment

hinged on documenting evolving philosophical and biological states and strategies,

I seeks to capture and activate a moment of transformation, ultimately marking a

shift from stasis to (potential) motion.

Thaw is informed by rapidly evolving agricultural practices that are heavily impacted by

developments in science and technology, as well as global climate change. Once the core

socio-economic infrastructure of individual small-scale communities, agriculture has become

an increasingly globalized endeavor. Multinational corporations are investing heavily in

scientific genetic research, ownership, and copyrighting. But this can come at a cost. Over

the last century, 94 percent of agricultural seed varieties have vanished worldwide, as have

more than 1,000 domesticated animal species. At the same time, “bio-archiving” and

international efforts to preserve species genealogy, aim to protect the world’s food supply

for the “greater good”. With this in mind, Thaw taps into the ‘speculative impulse’ behind

the establishment of seed archives and cryogenic technologies, which seek to preserve

specimens for an indeterminate (possibly apocalyptic) future. Here, species and organisms

are suspended in time, stored for future use, waiting to be activated. Preserved organic

samples must be released from their frozen state to germinate if they are to reach their full

potential.

Navigating this tipping point between suspended animation and evolution, the viewer

becomes an active participant— a necessary catalyst—to the process of shifting a projective

still image, object, or concept to a transformative experience.

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© 2012 thomas blanchard

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