Parallel to the film “Chemical Affinities” the research “Gleaning the archive”, describes the methodology of how to look at visual and material manifestations of soil fertilisation through a critical design lens.
Considering the archives as fields of knowledge that require agitation and reassembly, gleaning becomes an inquiry tool to unpack the politics of fertilisers.
The present thesis grapples with a constellation of visual artefacts from the first half of the XX century (in particular during the fascist dictatorial period in Portugal – 1933-1974).
The thesis is a critical analysis of image production around ammonia chemical fertilisers, and its relation to the technoscientific development of chemical industries. Agriculture-related imagery from the XX century onwards became material evidence of the influence of chemical industries in land, bodies, and ecosystems.
During the first half of the XX century, the process of agricultural expansion and modernization of cultivation practices in Portugal was sustained and powered by a strong propagandistic discourse that branched into different formats of cultural production.
MA Thesis Publication, Geo-Design, Design Academy Eindhoven Cover printed in diazotype / ammonia print