Of Guns and Seeds

A while back I did a few posts on guerrilla gardening and guerrilla harvesting that included terms like “seed bomb” (a ball of dirt with seeds in it that one lobs into empty lots in urban areas). At the time, while reviewing links and articles about these topic I stumbled on two odd projects that combine guns and seeds in unexpected ways.

From the Plant the Piece website.

From the Plant the Piece website.

The first was a project called “Plant the Piece” in which the artist created “Seed Guns” made out of “red clay, dry organic compost, and a mixture of annual-perennial species of wildflowers native and naturalized to any area, they can grow when left directly on the surface of the ground.” From the description of the project:

In 2004, the Richmond, Virginia homicide total reached 101. That same year, the traveling art installation, Plant The Piece, memorialized each murder victim by creating a “Gun”. As venues became available, ten original installations containing “Guns” were erected and the public was able to view an unfortunate statistic in an extraordinary light. The exhibit was inspired by the techniques and philosophies of Japanese radical gardener Masanobu Fukuoka. Fukuoka said, “The ultimate goal of farming is not the growing of crops, but the cultivation and perfection of human beings.” Each installation was a unique reflection of it’s host venue and audience. The traveling exhibit was enormously successful as it tackled a most sensitive matter that had no apparent solution.

The other project was less noble and more of a gimmick, but finding the two almost simultaneously got me thinking about the interconnection between food and violence (a topic I explore more here: Eating our Bombs). In an unlikely spot – on a gadget blog – I stumbled upon the “Spice Gun” which is essentially a glorified pepper shaker. But why in the shape of a gun?

Here is how the blogger described it:

A handy device which would allow you to gun down your food in cold-blooded flavor. To use this killer, you’d lock and load the barrel with a selection of your deadliest spices, then simply spin it — Dirty Harry style — to switch up ammo. We could go on all day with clever turns of phrase describing how much “kick” this thing has, suggestions that you load it up with radish-piercing bullets, and cautionary messages like, “Never point the spice gun at a steak unless you intend to season it.”

Not sure I have a response to all of this, but wanted to share it. Feel free to discuss in the comments section.

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