Sustainment Experiments: Plot

2021

Collaborative potato planting about food security.

The PLOT at VISUAL Carlow is the first public artwork of Sustainment Experiments. It’s a way of looking back to a technology – the potato ridge – born out of the need for food security in Ireland’s past, and forward to future food security, biodiversity and resilience in the face of climate change. It is a collaboration between the artists and the Loy Association of Ireland, previous collaborators on A Village Plot and X-SPUD. The ridges’ design at VISUAL is based on the I Ching, an ancient Chinese divination system. Asked ‘what is the future of sustainable food production in Ireland’ the I-Ching produced a hexagram – reproduced in potato ridges by members of the Loy Association of Ireland  that gave the following reading:

Modesty creates success. Balance and adjust things by cutting through pride and complication. Reduce what is overdeveloped. Don’t try to advance yourself. Beware of conceit and arrogance. Be consistent and resilient. Don’t follow policy. Do the right thing.

The Plot provided an opportunity to document a short film guide to making potato ridges and their efficiency in converting grass to vegetable beds. Next year it will be planted with a crop of Sainfoin, the subject of Deirdre’s moving image artwork Speculative Optimism.

Collaboration with The Loy Association of Ireland

Photographs and filming: Tom Flanagan

Location: VISUAL Carlow, Ireland

The PLOT download