Baking Earth: Soil and the Carbon Economy is a collaborative project led by artist Lucas Ihlein.
The project focuses on the Yeomans Carbon Still, a recent invention by Allan Yeomans for measuring the carbon content of soils. The machine is intended to be used by farmers as a means of quantifying the carbon sequestration performed through their agriculture practices. In a future carbon economy, farmers could be paid for drawing down carbon dioxide from the atmosphere through regenerative farming.
According to Allan Yeomans, up until now soil carbon testing procedures have been complex and prohibitively expensive. Simpler and cheaper methods of finding out how much carbon is in a farmer’s soil are needed to create the incentive for widespread change in agricultural practice.
Baking Earth will premiere in the exhibition Shapes of Knowledge, curated by Hannah Mathews at Monash University Museum of Art, February 9 – April 13, 2019. For the exhibition, Lucas and Allan are presenting a fully operational demonstration model of the Yeomans Carbon Still, which will be used to test the carbon content of soils of various farms throughout regional Victoria. Excursions to collect the soil samples may involve Monash University students, scholars and members of the wider community and will double as opportunities for learning about regenerative farming processes more broadly.
Alongside these material investigations, public discussions will take place in the gallery involving engineers, climate scientists and carbon farming advocates about the potential viability (economic, legal, botanical) of an agricultural approach to carbon sequestration.
While the Yeomans Carbon Still is not yet an approved methodology for testing soil carbon, part of what Lucas and Allan aim to do at MUMA is to explore the viability of getting the Carbon Still accredited by the Australian government.
Baking Earth: Soil and the Carbon Economy has been supported by Australia Council for the Arts, Australian Research Council, Monash University Museum of Art, Kandos School of Cultural Adaptation, Create NSW, and Yeomans Plow Co.
The project forms part of An artist, a farmer, and a scientist walk into a bar… co-ordinated by Kandos School of Cultural Adaptation (KSCA).
This project has been assisted by the Australian Government through the Australia Council, its arts funding and advisory body; the Australian Research Council (ARC); and the NSW Government through Create NSW.
Allan Yeomans – firstname.lastname@example.org
Dr Lucas Ihlein – email@example.com