Art Exhibit: FURROW at CHRCH Project Space

Sergey Jivetin's artist-in-residence at CHRCH Project Space explores the subject of humanity’s ever present desire to alter nature.

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FURROW

Sergey Jivetin's artist-in-residence at CHRCH Project Space.

Spring, 2017

A farmer's plow pierces through the top layer of soil to release nutrients and to jump-start a cycle of growth. A razor or a file scores the hard outer shell of the seed to enable water to penetrate to the cotyledon and to catalyze germination. A high-speed centrifuge extracts DNA from plant matter to be spliced into a new hybrid with a different color skin, higher yield or herbicide resistance.

From ancient mechanical to contemporary high-tech digitally-assisted genetic manipulation tools, humanity is revving up intervention into plant physiology and thereby leaving an aggressive scar on our planet’s overall ecological bio-diversity. Furrow Project is intended to be a conversation starter on the subject of humanity’s ever present desire to alter nature, an invitation to reexamine the very complex motives and consequences of domestication. Seeds are a powerful metaphor containing a wealth of histories and associations. Carving an artistic mark into the seed will physically help to release the organic energy contained within, but also liberate these topics for open dialog. Local artist Sergey Jivetin is an artist-in-residence at CHRCH Project space. Partnering with Hudson Valley Seed Company, Sergey's project, titled Furrow, engages local community in a seed alteration and germination/development experiment. Audience members are invited to bring seeds of select species to be engraved and subsequently planted and documented either in a germination chamber installed at CHRCH or at their homes. In Sergey's words:

Furrow project is intended to be a conversation starter on the subject of humanity’s ever present desire to alter nature, an invitation to reexamine the very complex motives and consequences of domestication. Seeds are a powerful metaphor containing a wealth of histories and associations. Carving an artistic mark into the seed will physically help to release the organic energy contained within, but also liberate these topics for open dialog. The project has been unfolding in March, but will culminate during first two weekends in May when the results of the experiment will be presented.

The space would be open to the public May 6,7,13 and 14 between 11am and 4 pm, but RSVP is advised. To make an appointment, please call or text 917-407-7288.

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Sergey Jivetin's work explores interventionist strategies that juxtapose two ostensible polarities of modern existence - technology and nature - at the scale of micro manipulation. Jivetin toiling away at his big machine replete with macro lens and video monitor is reminiscent of in vitro fertilization and nano robotics, and as much an entropic scarring as Robert Smithson's Spiral Jetty on Great Salt Lake. But here we have the possibility of our autobiographical inferences carved onto a carrot seed.

Michael McDonough.... Architect; Writer; Farmer

Sergey Jivetin’s “Furrows” Project at CHRCH project space is steeped in poetry. With the skill of a jeweler, he carves stories into seeds. I brought him sweet meat pumpkin seeds I have saved for over twenty-five years, and polenta corn I brought back from the Slow Food Conference in Italy. (Which I later learned was originally an Iroquois Haudenosaunee corn from upstate New York.) Narratives unfolded between he and the participants as we watched him do the carving, hearing him explain how he had specially designed and created the equipment for the carving and germination, as well as for the displayed and magnified seeds. I had every intention of planting the filigreed seeds, but once he finished carving them, they became a piece of art and I was torn! In the end, I gave them back to him to plant or display. I left in wonder; grateful for seeds and the sobering responsibility we have over these sacred treasures.

Poet/Farmer Lisa Wujnovich Mountain Dell Farm Hancock, NY

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