In certain parts of the world, the vast farmlandshave been colonized by genetically modifiedcrops for our staple foods (i.e. wheat, soy beans, corns). Introduced 30 years ago, the transgenic biotechnology has since been commercialized by the patent-protected corporate sectors. Taking over the wholesale markets, the herbicide- tolerant and pest-resistant seeds promise higher yields and profits without much ecological concerns. In this web installation, Seeds Underground renders the court document taken from the Supreme Court of the United States’ Vernon Hugh Bowman v. Monsanto case (held in Washington, D.C. on February 19, 2013) into ever-replicating seeds, transmitted by divine wind and distributed by human/machine power across the vast farmland. The work reminds of the power of seed corporations, but also of the potential of the counter-forces. With Seeds Underground events, the artist has invited people to swap seeds and young plants, and follow their development on the net.
Seeds Underground was developed through residencies at Messschiff Eleonore, Linz, Austria and OKNO in Brussels, Belgium in 2013.
Shu Lea Cheang constructs networked installations, builds social interfaces with transgressive plots and multi-player performance in participatory impromptu mode. Engaged in media activism for two decades (the 80s and 90s) in New York city, her work BRANDON (1998-1999) was the first Guggenheim museum web art commission/collection. Since moving to Europe, Cheang initiated several collectives to pursue large scale collaborative, performative works and recently focuses on viral bio art hacking.