Commissioned by Nina Franz and Christian von Borries for the exhibition A Better Version of You, at Art Sonje Center, Seoul (Dec. 2017) and Goethe Institut Beijing (March 2018)
BayEarth is "a prototype for an artificial soil compound developed by the German company Bayer."
We arrived in the guise of independent travelers to the former agricultural penal colony of Carrasco Bonito, in the state of Tocantins, Brazil. The town’s name, translated as “Handsome Executioner”, sounded painfully ambiguous to our ears, which had grown accustomed to mellower connotations in our German exile.
Young Bayer Brazil’s R&D personnel picked us up. At the experimental farm, they inquired about the scope of our research report. It was hard to tell who was in charge. All scientists, farmers and undercover PR agents displayed horizontality and humbleness in their gestures and manners.
“The brains behind BayEarth®,” one young scientist announced, “is no older than 25 and prefers to remain anonymous.” Of course we knew who she meant. We let her continue to reveal their findings after one year of utopian farming and social engineering in that outpost of progress.
“BayEarth,” the scientist resumed, “is a prototype for an artificial soil compound to be used in the rehabilitation of degraded farmlands, ensuring the strategic expansion of agricultural frontiers and the prevention of upcoming famines and environmental catastrophes (...)
“Through their interaction with Cabelo® precision agriculture sensors via instrumental trans-communication, BayEarth particles learn mimetic behavior from organic and inorganic microbiome entities, gather tactical data on deep local geohistory and transmit them across global supply chain networks in no time (...)
“Once BayEarth has been introduced to a given farm, neighboring farmers need only install Cabelo sensors on their properties and the particles will autonomously breed and migrate to new areas, replacing the original soil that had been degenerated by deforestation, poison, monoculture, overgrazing, land grab and genocide.”