Herbaceous Traces: A History of Agri/cultural Sinuosities
In this piece, I follow the geo-temporal meanderings of native grasses (in particular yam daisy-Microseris lanceolate and native millet-Panicum decompositum) through the Australian colonial record and beyond to reveal co-constitutive entanglements which bear witness to a plurality of agri/cultural narratives. In particular, I draw on the concept of trace as theorised by philosophers Jacques Derrida and Édouard Glissant to explore and produce aesthetic interventions which reveal, shape, coerce and/or support these grasses’ presence and agency—their voices. Scattered through geo-temporalities and media, these interventions document—trace—native grasses’ historical experiences and the role(s) awarded to them. Their punctual nature accounts/allows for ruptures, disruptions and (dis)continuity: each intervention carries its own rhythms of the collision between past and future in its midst. This fragmentary state also supports the fluid positioning of voices—the crafting of a textual space where poetics become a tool of decoloniality. Such a juxtaposition of perspectives and representational practices aim to generate intertwining accounts of vegetal being-in-the-world. More precisely, it aims to provide new insights into how native grasses have shaped and been shaped by colonial and decolonial practices—to illuminate their sinuous trajectories with(in) the fabric of the land.
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