Speculative Optimism

2017

Looking at the ‘lost’ history of Sainfoin, an older form of livestock forage and its potential use value today.

The Wellcome Trust Livestock residency at the Museum of English Rural Life (MERL), University of Reading saw engagement with agricultural scientists, farmers and the museum archives to look at the ‘lost’ history of Sainfoin, an older form of livestock forage and its potential use value today.

Research in the museum archives and with scientists at the university farms investigated attributes and material objects, archival films and references to Sainfoin use in texts and journals in the museum.

The film poetically reflects on the conservation of knowledge and modernist ambitions to increase agricultural productivity and speculates on the relationship between tacit farming knowledge and scientific research.

Exhibited at the MERL and at Galway International Arts Festival 2018.

Supported by the Museum of English Rural Life and the Wellcome Trust

 

Location

  • Museum of English Rural Life (MERL), University of Reading