Topic 6: Potatoes

Summary:
The article talks about how certain potatoes now are registered as a Monsanto patent, which makes it illegal to grow them for more than one cycle. The craziest thing about the article is how it mentions that the potatoes are registered as a pesticide. Who would want to eat a pesticide? The author also compares this altering of plant genes to changing it’s software.

Communication Problem:
For The Botany of Desire, the images should show how these GMO potatoes (and other vegetables) are not real food. It should be symbolized that they’re fake, poisonous. For the Idaho potato, the image should show something about their quality and popularity.

Image ideas:
For The Botany of Desire: This would have to involve Photoshop, but an idea could be for a photo of a potato where parts of the skin is peeled back and underneath the skin you see that it’s not real. There’s something foreign inside of it, maybe it’s blue or it’s full of weird particles (made in Photoshop). Or the potato could be cut in two, with the same concept of showing something strange and alien inside of the potato. Another more typical idea would be to show a syringe needle injecting something into the potato. But I don’t know if it’s realistic to be able to get hold of this as a prop. Using the author’s metaphor of the genes being like software, there could also be something computer-like, maybe an USB stick, sticking into the potato. This might be the easiest approach because it’s a ready available prop.

For The Idaho Potato, it would be fun to spell out something with potato peel, or a more traditional approach of showing a potato as very organic, healthy and appetizing.

Results:
The results doesn’t totally align with my initial ideas, but looking at the photos I realized that my idea of the skin being peeled back that I had for The Botany of Desire cover instead ended up worked really well for the Idaho Potato, as I came up with the idea of seeing a “stamp of approval”, the official Idaho Potato stamp, being revealed under the skin of the potato. For the Botany of Desire, I wasn’t happy with how the photos turned out with the syringe and during the shoot we were able to do some very close macro photos of the potatoes. Looking at these potatoes, it reminded me of a moon landscape and I chose to use one of these images because it captured the potato looking foreign and like it doesn’t belong at earth. I wish the macro photos were technically better/less blurry, but I think it captures the concept well.

Image links:
Idaho Potato
The Botany of Desire

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