Plant the Piece
Christopher Humes, Noah Scalin & Christopher Connock, Project Team
2004, Four Years

"And they will hammer their swords into plowshares and their spears into pruning hooks. Nation will not lift up sword against nation, and never again will they learn war." - Isaiah 2:4

"The ultimate goal of farming is not the growing of crops, but the cultivation and perfection of human beings." - Masanobu Fukuoka

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This installation, alternately titled 'Swords into Plowshares,' combines the values from two disparate sources to create a meaningful mediation on the state of violence in Richmond, Va and the rest of the country. Although Christopher Humes, Noah Scalin and I were not religious by nature, the power of Isaiah 2:4 was hard to deny. We combined this metaphor with our research into guerilla farming methods - the seed ball - to create an art installation representative of the increasing gun violence in the city of Richmond. A seed gun would be crafted for each gun-related incident in the city that year. The exhibition would travel with guns being sold for charity and planted as the year passed. This simple idea's effect was incredibly powerful, giving physical recognition to statistics that are so easily glossed over.
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Christopher Humes and I sculpted the first batch of seed guns and constructed the initial installation with the Upcast gallery owners. I was also the principal photographer for all marketing and archival purposes. The exhibit has been displayed at the Upcast Gallery, 1708 Gallery and Plant Zero. The exhibit has been featured in Ready Made magazine, the LA Times, the Richmond Times-Dispatch and on PBS. Most recently, it has been invited to exhibit at the World Museum of Culture in Gothenburg, Sweden for an entire year. The Seed Bombs are also currently being sold at the Santa Monica Museum of Art.
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