Art Uncovered - Dornith Doherty

Premiere DateDec 23, 2014
00:00 Archiving Eden
01:41 Seed Vaults
03:51 Photographing Seed Banks
05:31 Doomsday Vault
08:22 Losing Seeds
09:34 Incubator
11:34 Kuban Vault
13:25 X rays of Seeds
15:50 Suspended Animation
16:34 Collages
19:02 Lenticulars
21:45 Always in Awe
27:16 Finish

Door, Svalbard Global Seed Vault

Dornith Doherty has been traveling around the world photographing seed vaults. There are about 1400 or so seed vaults in the world, and their mission is serve as a kind of back-up system for the planet’s plant species. Should disease, climate change, or nuclear war wipe out our bio-diversity  these seed vaults can function like Noah’s arcs, and would give us a chance to bring lost species back from the dead. In addition to photographing the vaults, Dornith has been making X-ray images of the seeds themselves, exposing the elaborate internal structures otherwise invisible to the human eye.

Last week I got a chance to speak with Dornith about her work. We talked about the so-called “Doomsday Seed Vault” near the North Pole, her X-ray photographs, and  the precarious state of seed collections around the world.

Incubator, National Center for Genetic Preservation, Fort Collins, Colorado (2009)

Smallest Seeds in the World, Australia

Isolation Chamber, Plant Genetic Resources Unit, Geneva, New York

Seed Vault, Kuban Experimental Station, Russia

Red Yucca

Columbian Exchange II

Corn Seedlings

Host Thomas
Thomas grew up in Northern California where he fell in love with music and photography while going to punk shows and shooting skate photos. He photography in college, which may or may not qualify him to host an…