The University of California Institute for Research in the Arts supports embedded arts research through critical exchange

Elaine Gan: Mapping Rice Temporalities

Elaine Gan (UC Santa Cruz): $2,500 for Mapping Rice Temporalities: Diagrammatic Visualizations of Agroecologies. Graduate Arts Grant

What do rice seeds teach us about time? “Mapping Rice Temporalities” is an online project that uses digital media and html-5 web languages to visualize varieties of rice, or species of grass that adapt to and transform agroecologies. This is an interdisciplinary experiment that combines feminist science studies and historical coordination. Rice cultivation, inheritance, variation, and extinction are organized through human-nonhuman assemblages and semiotic-sensory technologies (manifested in rice as taste, aroma, color, size, consistency). These multivectorial interactions challenge us to reconsider how we have come to represent time as a unilinear chain of standardized, calculable quantities. Elaine Gan’s research seeks to image rice as a means to unpack qualitative times: durational synchronies, memories, recursive intensities, and contingent transformations. These call for new modes of representation. Her online project proposes software that opens up new figurations: diagrammatic visualizations that build on practices of mapping, documentation, and storytelling.

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