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Soils in Residency

In the shadow of ‘Peak Soil’, fertile soils are becoming more and more scarce leading to an escalating competition worldwide around this undervalued, but precious resource. The crucial role of healthy soil for the planet’s ecosystem has been, so far, the main focus of past attempts to face global soil loss. As various discourses and conflicts around the ownership of soil are rising worldwide, it is urgent to address soil in a more complex and nuanced manner – not just as an ecological problem but as a cultural, social and political issue.

Soils in Residency  is a reaction to this current threat of ‘Peak Soil’ and seeks to materialize a new culture of soil within local and global scales. The project explores the transplantation of soils as a potential approach for reviving and altering soils for specific produce without artificial
influence, while challenging societal frameworks, namely the accessibility and ownership of resources.





Whereas chromatography, a soil imaging method, is mainly used by farmers of the Global South, and soil transplants are only tested behind closed laboratory doors, this projects combines them in a physical intervention introducing them to our surroundings. Soils of different origins and agricultural treatments are inoculated in a test plot that is designed as a biogeographical map. Mirrored and monitored through soil chroma images, the results build up to an analogue and virtual archive of knowledge, displaying the soils’ potential and interactivity of a specific
zone.

By fusing art and science, the project challenges conventional ways of engaging and interacting with soil. It creates a transdisciplinary platform facilitating the exchange of knowledge and the sharing of the resource of soil. Seeking to create future visions of how to fac the impoverishment of our grounds, Soils in Residency is understood as a pilot project with the ambition to scale it impact by establishing further test plots across the world.