Welcome to our blog about soil and art. After a few attempts with other content management systems, we’re moving the whole web-presence-construction-site over to wordpress for hopefully a long and happy future of soil arts online. We haven’t merged / migrated all data yet but the first few posts should give an idea of the content we’re offering and interested in. If you are an artist, we invite you to submit work to our blog. If you are a scientist, environmental engineer or other professional concerned about soil protection and soil awareness, we encourage you to find out what artists are doing and build new alliances!
Some people might ask how these two worlds collided, how artists have used soil, how soil scientists have adopted artistic techniques to engage students, and what soil even means to society. Soil is the stuff we use to grow our food, fiber and fuel, to filter our drinking water, and to support our homes, highways and histories. Soil functions, such as growth medium and habitat, historical archive, and contamination filter, are not only the focus of scientific inquiry but also subject matter for artistic expression and cultural discourse. By providing a palette of dynamic approaches, the arts have much to contribute to soil science, policy, education and awareness: from illuminating the dense layers of hidden beauty beneath the surface, to directly confronting problems such as contamination, erosion, and humus loss. By creating sensual, aesthetic experiences, evoking personal and cultural associations, and triggering emotional responses, artists are in a perfect position to help restore human relationships with soil and the landscapes they inhabit. In short – the arts offer innovative and inspiring ways to communicate soil and environmental issues to the greater public.
The idea for this blog emerged out of many years of collaboration between Gerd Wessolek, a soil scientist and painter, and Alex Toland, an artist and landscape planner. To find out more about us and our work, visit Alex Toland’s other blog and Gerd Wessolek’s homepage at the TU-Berlin, and also be sure to check out our publications.