Topic Six: The Botany of Desire

Summary: The article “The Botany of Desire: A Plant’s Eye View of the World” by Michael Pollan, expresses the idea of approaching plants as software. The article stresses that the equipment given to farmers in order to grow, maintain, and protect their crops, are the same equipment that drowns farmers in dept, unhealthy soil, and soil fertility issues. Probably the quote that sticks out the most is, “Now we’re about to find out what happens when people begin approaching the genes of our food plants as software.”

Communication Problem: The image that should accompany this article is one that compares potatoes to “inputs”. The image should denaturalize potatoes by placing them next to chemicals, electronics, and man-made products.

Image Ideas: My idea is to bring in pieces of RAM (random access memory). RAM is found inside of computers and they’re a form of computer data storage. In the article, that author uses the word input to make potatoes seem like data instead of food. So what better way to represent this article than by actually bringing in data? I’ll place the RAM besides and inside the potatoes. In terms of doing the advertisement for Idaho Potatoes, my idea is to glorify the potatoes with a red and blue background. I’ll also love to add an American flag sticking out of the potato.

Results: I loved the different kinds of setups all the teams were able to work with. The use of color gels made the photo shoot much more visually stimulating. I looked forward to rotating to a new setup to experience how different the lighting, colors, and background will turn out. I was able to successfully achieve my image idea on several setups!

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