Deep Time Seed Storage & Workshop for Uproot

Smack Mellon, Brooklyn, NY
Curated by Gabriel de Guzman

This is the second in our series of ceramic seed storage vessels. These vessels are used for storing seeds for very long periods of time. The pyramid shape recalls the Egyptian tombs as well as NESL’s logo. The clay was mixed with a small quantity of sifted dirt from Brooklyn Bridge Park, near Smack Mellon gallery.

Brooklyn Bridge Park has been entirely built and shaped by humans, with careful landscaping atop a landfill, interspersed with wild weeds. At this event, we lead participants in identifying the hardy weeds growing spontaneously in the park, collect their seeds to store in these vessels, and then buried one of the pair onsite as a time capsule. The remaining counterpart vessel is kept as an artifact.

Many ancient cultures stored seeds in clay pots. The dryness of the fired clay would effectively preserve the seeds. There have been instances where a seed stored in this manner was sprouted centuries or even millennia later: for example, an extinct Judean Date Palm grown from 2000 year old seed.