The Seed Project is an experiment in "seed as potential" or "form follows growth". Simple packets of wheatgrass seeds were distributed to artists and cultivars worldwide as a means to test how each individual would craft a dialogue with the same organic building blocks, though in varying growing conditions and regions globally. The project was conceived by David Cohen, a Brooklyn-based artist and social activist, who views The Seed Project as being transformative "social sculpture" for the digital age. The Virtual Field of images that resulted from the project yielded a quilted patchwork of sprouted plant forms that became pixels of connectivity between artists, crafters, and their real-live work.
One of the great things about this project were the myriad ways that the distributed seeds took root in the lives and varying surroundings of participants everywhere. Not only was each stage of the process very much about personal choices and chosen locations, but the results often highlighted an under-recognized or under-utilized domestic object or an abandoned zone that took on new life with the mere presence of a patch of grass. The restrictions for the project were such that the plants could be grown freely in any configuration the cultivar chose, and the documentation of the resulting growth must somehow reflect the individuality of the grower and his/her ideas. Artists were also advised to set up scenarios where plant growth would be non-spreading, non-invasive, and grown legally.
This spring's Phase 2 of The Seed Project involves a transition to Flickr.com and a virtual community garden where participants will be able to more easily share their personal projects and images. The Seed Project is featured in the current issue of Art World Digest , available online , at The New Museum bookstore in Chelsea, or at MoMA's PS 1 Contemporary Art Center in Queens. Basil seeds will be the focus of the next distribution wave, and Wholefoods Markets have signed on to help distribute the seed packets. Which begs me to ask, is socialized, free-form, seed swapping and gardening about to go mainstream?