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Accession

Accession

Accession traces the historical and cultural lineages of heirloom seed saving through an informal network of gardeners and their letter correspondence.

Since the founding years of the United States, personal correspondence accompanied the exchange of plant material between locations, amongst the aristocratic plantsmen of the country, ordinary farmers and gardeners, as well as between family members divided by place. Typically, such exchanges included seed slips, a tiny envelope containing precious seeds inscribed with the stories of its passages between people. Today, the exchange of plant matter continues to necessitate material exchange.

We begin with the physical address where the letters are written and explore the home as the center of each place. The letters that accompany seeds and contain stories of particular varieties, family histories, personal life events, and seemingly mundane details of everyday life will be read by these seed savers from the locations where their plants thrive. At intervals throughout the film, letters touch upon the stories of the people involved in preserving the cultural memory and biological diversity that seeds encapsulate.


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