Peace With the Earth
Tracing Agricultural Memory
– Refiguring practice

Published by Archive Books
Edited by Ros Gray

In Peace with the EarthTracing Agricultural Memory, Refiguring Practice, the perspective is shifted from people to plants. This reveals gaps and inconsistencies in dominant narratives that focus on human progress and development.


‘The Kale bed’ is so called
because there is always kale in it.

Ireland, 2016 - 2020
Hosted by Project Arts Centre, Dublin

In a long-term enquiry, visual artist Åsa Sonjasdotter revisits histories of agriculture related to the kale plant on Ireland. Tracing stories in soils, habitats and dwellings, the findings challenge dominant narratives of nurturing relations. 
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Cultivating Stories
Gotland, Sweden, 2015 - 2019
Hosted by the Baltic Art Centre,
Gotlands Museum and Konstfrämjandet

A tracing of human relationships to cultivated plants in archives, heritage landscapes and in literature. Cultivated plants’ rich variation in form and taste has emerged through, what might be called, a “breeding dialogue”, between humans and plants. When Carl von Linné systematized the nature (Systema Naturae, 1735), cultivated plants were not mentioned, as they were not regarded as belonging to God’s divine order. Considering human’s close relation to cultivated plants, their aesthetic capacity is surprisingly overlooked within both art and science.
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39 (Breeding)

The Order of Potatoes
On Purity and Variation in Plant Breeding
Åsa Sonjasdotter
Pages 311-329 | Published online: 25 Sep 2018
Published in the journal Third Text Volume 32, 2018
Issue 2-3: The Wretched Earth: Botanical Conflicts and Artistic Interventions

An article addressing questions of memory, matter, temporality and narrative as they emerge in stable plant variation throughout processes of cultivation and breeding. In the article, I present two different but entangled narratives on potatoes and breeding. Both stories begin at the time of early colonialism and capitalism at the end of the sixteenth century. I present the narratives alongside each other as a way to make visible how they not only represent different perspectives on the same historical spacetime, but also how they involve different narrative formats.