To Seed and To Unseed
A field: to seed, or not to seed
Once upon a time, there were two – Seeder and |Not Seeder|. The two came upon a field that had been sown and reaped many times. Seeder walked to the depth of the field, excitedly placing the first seed with care. |Not Seeder| chose to forgo involvement by inaction and remained outside the field. One day, Seeder arrived at the field, as ever, to find a third.
“What are you doing in the field?” asked Seeder. The third stood firmly at the field’s threshold, evaluating the field and its density, and replied “I am Unseeding.”
Ever since Unseeder arrived, Seeder was never again alone in the field.
To seed is to concretize the field. Not to seed is to avoid the field. To unseed is to nurture its void, and to acknowledge that what is not there is part of the identity of what is. While |Not Seeder| is external to the field and to the act of seeding, Seeder and Unseeder both perceive the field as an ongoing Project of simultaneous materiality and immateriality. Although Unseeder’s actions negate what we understand as seeding, they remain inherent to it. Seeder and Unseeder contain each other’s negation, but together oppose the inaction of |Not Seeder|.
Unseeder embodies the possibility of more actions – beyond seeding – by introducing modifications to the field. Interventions, transformations, and subtractions are all modes of articulation that allow editing without adding – freeing Unseeder and the field from the act of seeding. What already exists in the field is the raw material with which to affect it. For Unseeder, figures need not be seeded; they can be found.
Before Unseeder’s arrival, Seeder and |Not Seeder| acted only in opposition – the essence of one’s action defying the other’s. The contradictory presence of the two primary characters is dissolved by the addition of a third. Now, the field is no longer maintained by a binary essence. Unseeder’s arrival at the field, as the latest part of a potentially infinite sequence, produces another possibility – the ability to seed and also the ability to choose not to, without avoiding the field or forgoing participation. The addition of another character gathers all future ability to add to the field. Once adding is a possibility, the very potential of addition forever interrupts the binary state, liberating the field from its dichotomy.
The multiplicity of characters entails the multitude of choices and the possibility of actions. This multiplicity shifts the field from its binary state and allows it to become articulated through manifold behaviors. Were we mistaken to regard the field as a field, before it possessed a multiplicity of potentials? If a territory offers no multiplicity, is it then –
a field, or not a field?