Field to Palette: Dialogues on Soil and Art in the Anthropocene is an investigation of the cultural meanings, representations, and values of soil in a time of planetary change. The book offers critical reflections on some of the most challenging environmental problems of our time, including land take, groundwater pollution, desertification, and biodiversity loss. At the same time, the book celebrates diverse forms of resilience in the face of such challenges, beginning with its title as a way of honoring locally controlled food production methods championed by "field to plate" movements worldwide. By focusing on concepts of soil functionality, the book weaves together different disciplinary perspectives in a collection of dialogue texts between artists and scientists, interviews by the editors and invited curators, essays and poems by earth scientists and humanities scholars, soil recipes, maps, and DIY experiments. With contributions from over 100 internationally renowned researchers and practitioners, Field to Palette presents a set of visual methodologies and worldviews that expand our understanding of soil and encourage readers to develop their own interpretations of the ground beneath our feet.
Dr. Alexandra R. Toland is a visual artist and environmental planner
with research interests in ecosystem services, urban ecology, soil and
culture, and the Anthropocene. She is junior professor for arts and
research at the Bauhaus University of Weimar and has previously
lectured at the Technische Universitat Berlin, University of Arts Berlin
(UDK), Humboldt Universitat zu Berlin, and Leuphana University. She
co-chaired the German Soil Science Society's Commission on Soils in
Education and Society from 2011 to 2015 with Gerd Wessolek and
continues to write and make artwork about soil.
Dr. Jay Stratton Noller is professor of landscape pedology and
head of the Department of Crop and Soil Science at Oregon State
University. His research focuses on morphologistics and human
interactions with soils in modern and ancient agricultural and forest
landscapes of the Middle East, Europe, and the Americas. His
experience crosses disciplines of soil science, geomorphology, art,
and archaeology and his work as an artist at Soilscape Studio LLC is
Dr. Gerd Wessolek is a soil physicist and painter who has pioneered
efforts at giving soils and soil science a broader exposure to wider
audiences through presentations, exhibitions, and soil art projects.
Information on his research on urban soils in the vadose zone and an
online gallery can be found at http://www.boden.tu-berlin.de. Since
1999 he has been chair of the Soil Protection Department at the
Technische Universitat Berlin.